The Tijuana-Ensenada highway collapsed a year ago as a result of a combination of problems — poor construction, a base of loose sandstone, underlying fault zone, recent earthquakes, and the daily traffic of heavy overloaded trucks.
This is the view from the highway just north of the city of Ensenada, the location of Seagate’s factory under happier times. Not a bad commute, that is when this part of the highway is not submerged in the ocean. This is perhaps the most scenic stretch of any highway in Mexico. Unfortunately it is built on very unstable sandstone, cut along the edge of a very steep mountain. In addition, the road crosses over several seismic fault lines. In December 2013, a 200 meter section of this road near the above photo collapsed into the ocean, taking a tractor trailer along for the ride, almost killing the driver. When this road was built in the early 70’s, there was very little car or truck traffic. Now unfortunately, this is a major highway with tractor trailers. In this part of Mexico, there are no truck scales. The trucks are overloaded, to 120,000 and even 150,000 lbs., which are destroying the highway.
This highway reopened in December 2014, after a year of repair work and approx. 15 people killed in traffic accidents on the alternate inland route. Unfortunately, one month after the repair, the highway crew discovered new fractures developing 1 Km. south of this collapse. It is just a matter of time before another highway section falls into the Pacific with cars and trucks.
So those of you wishing to travel to this part of Mexico and ignore the drug cartels, kidnappings, extortion, beheadings, police corruption, and highway robberies, we can offer you two suggestions. Either get yourself a couple of good floaties for your car while driving along this stretch of highway —
… or just relax, avoid the drive south and visit the favorite tourist sites in Tijuana.
Night time in the “Zona Rosa” can be even more interesting. Anyway, this is all part of Seagate’s World. It is a bit different than catching a taxi in midtown Manhattan … which can make life a lot more interesting.
In contrast to the friendly women of the night .. or in this case today — the daytime, the above picture will end the blog post with some calmness and tranquility. This is a vertical wall along the coast of Belize showing outcroppings of diverse corals. Now you can better understand why I might sometimes prefer the world beneath the sea than the one just south of the border.