Mexico cancels road repair tenders and calls in the army

Federal Highway 1 in Baja California (Elnogalense/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Mexico’s transport ministry has cancelled 559 highway maintenance tenders and asked the army to take on the work instead, newspaper El Economista reports.

The cancellation on 6 February appears to let the ministry keep $640m earmarked for the work.

The move had engineers and construction bodies up in arms.

The College of Civil Engineers of Mexico responded by asking the authorities “to adopt urgent measures to reactivate the bidding processes and guarantee the execution of the works”.

In a statement on Facebook it called on “society as a whole to actively participate in the defence and promotion of road infrastructure as an essential element for the sustainable development of our country”.

Other dissenting voices were raised by the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry and the Mexican Federation of Colleges of Civil Engineers, who argued that the decision would lead to more damage and end up costing the government more.

The civil engineers’ body urged the government to reverse the decision and prioritise investment in highway maintenance. It said: “There is no more profitable investment than preserving the country’s heritage.”

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed this week that he had asked the army to step in.

He said military engineers would guarantee that the works were completed before the end of his term in October, and without the inefficiencies caused by the bidding processes.

He said: “If we carry out the works with traditional methods, they won’t be done well or on time. The military engineers are guaranteed to get the work done, which is why we need them.”

Further reading:

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News