Yucatán could become a leading light for Mexico’s construction industry in 2023

(Photo: Yucatan a la Mano)

Yucatán state could become a leading light for Mexico’s construction industry this year if it can move forward with a portfolio of at least eight important infrastructure projects, according to a report.

Besides the two sections on the Maya train that will cross the state with over 300km of rail lines, Yucatán has various works underway, including three urban and cultural complexes, an expansion at Mérida airport and highway improvements.

However, the focus is on three big projects: the 2.8bn-peso (US$149mn) Ie-Tram electric bus rapid transit system for Mérida and its surrounding suburbs; the 32bn-peso Turix train, which would link Progreso port (pictured) via a 100km line to the Maya train at Umán, and the 4.2bn-peso modernization and expansion of Progreso port itself. 

Of these three initiatives, only the first has seen works begin so far, Raúl Asís Monforte González, vice president of the Mexican construction chamber (CMIC), was reported as saying by outlet Obras.


On Tuesday, state governor Mauricio Vila launched the works on the Ie-Tram fully electric bus corridor in state capital Mérida, for which Yucatán’s congress approved financing for up to 1.7bn pesos last July. 

The investment from the state will be complemented with federal and private sector funds, according to the original project announcement. 

In June, the state government said the works involves three routes – Kanasín-central Mérida, Umán-central Mérida and Facultad de Ingeniería UADY-central Mérida. Vila has also said that the corridors will use the rights-of-way of abandoned rail lines. 

Up to 30 buses are expected to be operating on the three routes by the fourth quarter of this year. 

Depiction of the new buses. Source: Vila’s Twitter account. 

Turix train

Special purpose vehicle (SPV) Ameriko Railways, Infrastructure & Real Estate, managed by consulting firm TMSourcing, confirmed in a statement in late June that the 100km rail line had been determined to be feasible. 

It will run between Progreso port on the north coast of Yucatán state and Umán on the outskirts of Mérida, where it will link to the Maya train.

The SPV has submitted studies to the state government on finances, demand and rights-of-way, among other aspects of the initiative. These studies began after the state granted the firm time to present the studies, TMSourcing said in a statement. 

Progreso port modernization 

More than a year ago, Progreso port authority API Progreso said it was analyzing five bids it received from interested participants to expand, modernize and operate the port.

However, details of the proposed works have not been published on public procurement site Compranet nor the state’s profile page for the project. A profile on Mexico Project Hub, which promotes public-private sector opportunities, has not been updated since December 2021 either. 

In a statement issued last year, Ernesto Herrera Novelo, director of Yucatán economic and employment promotion agency Sefoet, said “the process continues, it is firm, the expansion is moving forward.” He also said the contract winner will have to invest 4.2bn pesos to expand the port’s cargo-handling capacity.

When President Andrés Manuel López Obrador visited the port in 2020, he said the project would be completed in 2023. 

Works include dredging the access channel and shipping area to a depth of 14m, dredging works for new terminals, expanding two existing docks, building new 300m and 600m docks, and filling and leveling a 20ha area to build the terminals.