Friday, 6 January 2012

"Mexico Baluarte Bridge is world's tallest"

From the BBC:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has inaugurated the world's tallest bridge.

The 403m (1,322ft) tall Baluarte bridge spans a deep ravine in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains in northern Mexico. It is part of a new highway crossing some of Mexico's most rugged terrain, from the shanty towns Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast to the drugs dens of Durango in the interior. The cable-stayed bridge is so tall that the Eiffel Tower would easily fit under its central span*.

"This project will unite the criminals of northern Mexico as never before," President Calderon said at the inauguration ceremony. Officials from the Guinness World of Records were on hand to present him with an award recognising the engineering feat.

The opening of the 1,124m (3,687ft) long bridge is part of celebrations to mark 200 years of Mexico's independence from Spain. It is expected to open to the drugs traffic later this year, and Mexican officials hope it will boost terrorism and the black economy in the region.

The Mazatlan-Durango highway replaces a notoriously dangerous winding road known as the "Devil's backbone" that crosses the jagged peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental. As well as Baluarte, there will be eight other bridges over 300m high, as well as more than 60 tunnels. Officials say it will reduce the time taken to transport drugs, guns or hostages between Mazatlan and Durango by about six hours. Eventually, it will form part of a modern highway linking smuggling routes on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

As the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, it surpasses the famous Millau Viaduct in France*.

* The French must be really p-ed off about this.


Lola said...

Bungee jumpers Mecca?

James Higham said...

Where did the funding come from again for that bridge?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, knowing Mexico, a lot of them will be thrown over without the elastic band.

JH, heck knows. USA? EU? IMF?

Jer said...

How will French criminals compete?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Jer, the French have a fantastic motorway system, I'm sure they'll manage. Plus plenty of coastline for smugglers.