Approximately three months remain before Mexicans go to the polls to elect a new president, and we are getting the impression that pundits and regular Josés alike are starting to get used to the idea that Andrés Manuel López Obrador might actually be elected this time. We ourselves are laboring to come to grips with this potential outcome, in a process not unlike the seven stages of grief, although we’re still mostly stuck at stage four, depression. We’re still struggling to accept that Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, and now on top of that the prospect of our own populist nationalist zealot taking over…maybe this helps explain why mezcal sales are skyrocketing. Continue reading Gloomy election outlook for Mexico
Concerns about air traffic saturation at Mexico City’s international airport have led to calls for a new airport going back at least 15 years. Disputes over the appropriate location for a new airport held up the project, and a 2012 expansion of the existing facility helped further delay the inevitable. In late 2014, however, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a vast public works project to construct a massive, completely new airport that is driving much interest on the part of service contractors and suppliers of specialized equipment and materials.
Design and construction of the airport will be headed by UK-based Foster and Partners architects and the Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) engineering firm. According to government officials, environmental and urban impact studies are underway, with construction scheduled to begin this year and conclude in 2019. Because the airport is planned to be built on a former lake bed, substantial water and soil management work will need to be done prior to construction. Approximately US$1 billion in drainage and water management projects are reportedly planned, including the expansion of nine bodies of water, construction of 90 miles of drainage canals and installation of 24 water treatment plants. Continue reading New capital airport creating construction opportunities
Throughout the first year of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, which began in 2012, he was launching major policy and infrastructure initiatives as if his pants were on fire and he needed colossal government projects to put them out. A little over two years into the administration, however, the feverish pace of advance has hit a significant rough patch and the president has returned to earth with a thump. We recently faced up to the collapse of one of the most ambitious proposed infrastructure projects, the high-speed passenger train to Querétaro. Despite our broken dreams, there really was no reason for us to expect that the Querétaro train would ever be built, as we have a well established track record of projects large and small being abandoned and swept under the rug after being announced to great fanfare. And the most hair-raising of these in recent memory must be the new airport for Mexico City proposed by President Vicente Fox in 2001. Continue reading Will Mexico City really have a new international airport?