The Big Dig in Mazatlán’s Centro Historico

June 23, 2012

You all know I love it here.  But there are times when I just shake my head and wonder about how decisions get made. (I’m glad I can shake my head and laugh at the same time!)

At the top of this post is the street Heriberto Frias – between Angel Flores and Constitución.  This is the street with Casa Haas, a historic house used for a museum and concerts and ends a block further at the Plazuela Machado.  The Plazuela Machado is one of Centro’s biggest tourist attractions, with open air restaurants, outdoor vendors, and live music.  But just try to get there without getting your feet dirty!

This civic project started in March and was to be done by the end of May.  With our rainy season in full swing by mid-June, that was good planning!  But good planning or not, the “beautification” project has gone sadly astray.

It is close to impossible to maneuver either in your car or on foot without bumping into a street blockage in Centro.  The street I live on is now home to endless busses (in the past there were none) since all the other streets are blocked where they normally travel.

The picture below shows Carnaval at Angel Flores.  There’s been some progress here.  I like the new sturdy looking curbs and you can see the stacks of cobblestone pavers they’ll be installing soon. This was a nice sight to see.



The picture below just makes me shake my head.  But I also said a silent “thank you” to whoever put the paver stepping stones here so I could cross without getting wet.  This is on Benito Juarez at Constitución.  See the pile of pavers in the background?  Those were removed from the sidewalks before they wrecked the street.




The picture below is Lake Constitución (or as one resident put it una alberca olimpica or an olympic swimming pool) – otherwise known as Calle Constitución between Carnaval (the Plazuela Machado) and Benito Juarez.  I really feel sad for Topolo restaurant – a lovely restaurant that people dress up to visit.  Not with these streets, you don’t!  You should see some of the houses on this block – their fronts splashed with muddy drips.




The newspaper reports that there are problems with money – they found when they dug up the streets that the water and sewer pipes were in worse shape than expected – and that they don’t expect to be done now until the end of July.  My unofficial bucket rain gauge shows in the last couple of days we’ve had more than 6 inches of rain, I can only imagine how hard that kind of rain will make getting this project complete.

The picture below is Constitución on the other side of Benito Juarez.



I have only shown you few samples that were on my walk this afternoon.  This project was originally planned to improve the tourist corridor – a commendable idea.  I hope they can get the project done by the end of July, as I expect it to be lovely when it is complete – and the new piping will be great for Centro, too.  I just wish that a bit more planning and disclosure had taken place ahead of time!

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I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. It’s such a mess and so frustrating. I’m going to try shaking my head and laughing, what else can we do?

    1. Plaza Chica in Patzcuaro comes to mind. It is sort of the hub of local and tourist trade and when they decided to renovate it they chose to do so shortly before Day of the Dead, the biggest tourist time of the year, and it was boarded up on all sides until well after Christmas. I still don’t get that one, but at least it wasn’t done during the rainy season. My gosh what a mess you’ve got there right now.

    1. Wow, I had heard it was bad, but didn’t expect this! You all must be so frustrated and, of course, it is the part of town that one tends to walk around in the most, not only as tourists but those that live there. Two more months and I will be seeing it first hand,unless by some miracle it gets finished. Should I bring my Wellies?

    1. Are they going to lay cobblestones on the streets? While they are very pretty to look at, walking on them is another story! It was one thing I didn’t like about Puerto Vallarta’s historic center. And I noticed there that most of the Mexican ladies wore “sensible shoes,” instead of the stiletto heels that are so popular here in Mazatlan!

    1. They still haven’t finished the main street, Cuesta de San Jose that goes up the hill by our house. The ONLY street that goes up the hill to houses, etc. Started about 7 or 8 months ago and of course, we too are in the rainy season………

      Sooner or later, it will all be done. I too just smile and find another way……most of our tourism is Mexican National and it goes on all year so no certain time of year is worse then others. But for us locals it is an interesting adventure, every day.

      1. Contessa, We’ll see, but we can hope!

        Judith, Laughter works for me….

        Shannon, Same exact thing, only with mud!

        Zoe, Check back with me before you pack your bags…. you never know!

        Viki, I don’t know exactly, but that’s what the paper said. I think they’ll be the kind like they used in the Plazuela Machado. I think those are great.

        Babs, So Patzcuaro, San Miguel, and Mazatlan must be run by folks who attended the same planning classes, don’t you think? Or maybe they skipped class?

        Mary, You got it right!

    1. Maybe we should plan a big get together at Topolo, to help them “weather the drought”, so to speak. However you want to take that. Could be a lot of fun and it might help them with lost revenue…we’d just have to let them know we would be dressing a bit more casually than usual! Interested?

    1. It’s an excellent idea, but with out the proper execution!!

      I hope they are able to complete it sooner than later….It’s better they do it right, than have to go back and fix a ton of problems down the road…

      Those streets look awful …. Will look amazing when done 🙂

      1. Christine, That’s funny, after I wrote this Paul and I talked about going over there to eat! My only problem is that they don’t have any vegetarian food except one pasta dish that I didn’t like… so we’ll see. But we should at least go for a drink!!! 😉

        Ellecancun, I hope they look great when they’re done, fingers crossed!

    1. Ahhhh, memories. I grew up in Mexico City (50 years ago) and it was the same all over then, too. Now I find that here in Albuquerque they must have all gone to the same planning/construction school. We have issues like that year round here. But, as with Mazatlan, we still love it, and it eventually gets done – after the rainy season. Love your website and check it frequently to get the updates. My daughter and I are hoping to make our annual to Maz in Oct. Cheers!

    1. “Sufrir para merecer”, es un dicho mexicano.
      Estas fotografías son de la obra en proceso. Esperamos la publicación de las fotografías una vez terminado todo y seguramente nos encantará aún más el centro de Mazatlán.

    1. Oh, Oh, oh – This was our walking route most days while in Mazatlan in January, February and March. Goodness what a sight – hope all will be fixed and soon.

    1. Of course everything will be fix and not only fix but become better . Just patience and tolerance. Rome was not built in a day. Saludos ¡¡¡

    1. While it is sad that when in this town somebody decides to do something nice for it, there’s no prevention plan for these kind of things, like the rain and the fact that it is impossible to work around, at least something is being done.
      But I’m happy that they decided to do something for the Historic District and hopefully we will all take care of it and the cruises will come back.
      Don’t forget to remind all the people in charge to put some trash cans so people don’t litter. Very important.

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