Transportation

Baluarte Bridge Open, Slashes Journey Times

Blauarte Bridge, Sinaloa-Durango, Mexico

Mexico inaugurated the Baluarte Bridge on January 5, 2012, a highway super-structure that connects the states of Sinaloa and Durango. The US$150m project created a new Guinness World Record as the world’s highest cable-stayed bridge, with a clearance of 402 meters (1,321 feet) from the road deck to the bed of the Baluarte river, below. The previous world record for the same category of bridge was held by the Millau Viaduct in France (270 meters, 886 feet).

The Baluarte Bridge took four years to build.  It’s 1,124 meters long (3,688 feet) and is supported by twelve concrete piers, 7 in the state of Sinaloa and 5 in the state of Durango. Its 520 meter (1,706 feet) main span is the longest in North America.

The super-structure is an emblematic road infrastructure project for Mexico, providing a key link on a major highway project that connects the port, commercial, and tourist city of Mazatlan to the northern city of Durango and will eventually connect Mexico’s Pacific coast to the Atlantic, Mazatlan-Matamorros).

The journey time by road from Mazatlan to Durango was approximately 7-8 hours, along an aging and difficult highway which hugs an edge of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in an area known colloquially as the Devil’s Backbone.

The new route along highway 40D passes under 63 tunnels and crosses 32 bridges, 8 of which are over 300 meters (980 feet) high.  It is one of the most scenic and spectacular road trips across Mexico — and the new Baluarte bridge, which has enabled the by-passing of the notorious Devil’s Backbone, has made the journey safer and nearly four times quicker for travelers.

Download the latest Road Log from Laredo to Puerto Vallarta via Durango — which shares a detailed road guide of this beneficial new route crossing the awesome Baluarte bridge.

See also: Driving in Mexico

Picture of Baluarte bridge taken by Bill Bell and used with his permission.

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