With a new Jalisco state government under the stewardship of Enrique Alfaro set to assume office Thursday, December 6, the outgoing administration is involved in a mad scramble to inaugurate public works, even though many are incomplete.
Recent “openings” presided over — or soon to be inaugurated — by Governor Aristoteles Sandoval have included the Ciudad Creativa Digital, Paseo Alcalde, Viaducto Belenes, the third stage of the MiBici bike share project, Perferico Sur rehabilitation and the 12-kilometer upgrade of a stretch of the Guadalajara-Chapala highway.
Sandoval defended the inaugurations on the basis that most of the public works are between 95 and 98 percent completed and only minor details remain. This is debatable in the case of the city center’s Paseo Alcalde, the pedestrian walkway running along Avenida Alcalde from La Normal Glorieta to the Avenida Revolucion turnoff — a project that Sandoval will “open” next Monday. This week, workers were still using heavy machinery on several stretches of the 2.5-kilometer walkway that looked far from finished to the naked eye.
Even more controversially, Sandoval this week cut the ribbon at the Ciudad Creativa Digital, the ambitious project aimed at luring multimedia tech firms to downtown Guadalajara.
The original plan was to attract technology companies devoted to developing software applications, video games, movies, multimedia and mobile applications to locate in around 200 hectares of land surrounding the rundown Morelos Park in the city center. Few businesses, however, have taken the bait, and while two of three planned buildings have gone up, the master plan has been modified to place more emphasis on potential educational tenants rather than blue chip IT firms.
State authorities said they decided to “inaugurate” the unfinished work this week because the project’s major infrastructure is mostly in place. This, the government boasted, includes construction of “Torres A and C,” set to house the new Universidad Digital, and the restoration of the colonial Casa Baeza, which also lies within the planned complex. None of the buildings, however, are ready for occupation.
Sandoval also set in motion the third stage of the city’s Mi Bici bike share project, which adds 38 new bike stations and 330 bicycles. This brings the total number of stations in the metropolitan area to 243. Many of the new stations connect with the third Tren Ligero (subway) line, due to open in the summer of 2018.