Merida Mayor Renán Barrera inaugurates a newly paved Calle 47 to the Leandro Valle neighborhood. Photo: Facebook

Merida, Yucatan — Mayor Renán Barrera Concha said that the Merida City Council will join local civic groups to oppose a 4-kilometer underground train tunnel connecting La Plancha with the eastern edge of the city.

The mayor expressed concerns about any technical risk or damage to the city. Dozens of cenotes, or underground wells, exist under the city’s thin limestone surface.

After delivering a road improvement project in the Leandro Valle neighborhood, the mayor said that today the first session of the Technical Board will include specialists from Urban Development, the Cadastre and the Municipal Planning Institute, who will analyze the details of this project and its feasibility.

In addition, he stressed that beyond the possibility of the Mayan Train entering the city by underground, first of all the City Council is interested in the Gran Parque at La Plancha is a reality.

Turning acres of abandoned railroad beds in the Centro into a “green lung” has been the goal of neighbors for years. Although the land abuts the city’s former train station, that historic building is being used as an art school, although progress on its renovation and expansion appear to have stalled.

According to the plans, the tunnel would be built on the existing right of way from the eastern Periferico at its junction with Calle 39, reaching a subterranean station to receive tourists. Freight would not be carried on this spur of the Mayan Train.

“It is a purely tourist issue, and if we are asking for a partial impact plan to be included in the area, that is an additional investment in the whole area that has to do with Paseo Montejo, and in the streets that connect with La Plancha, and of course the great central park has to be first of all,” the mayor said.

Regarding the possibility of damaging the water table, Barrera Concha said he will wait for expert studies to be done before speculating.

“This is a first draft, an idea of ​​what is being done,” he said.

Barrera Concha said that when the plan is defined and made public, it will be because it was the product of an intense debate about what should or should not be done at La Plancha.

Source: Punto Medio