Sure, you can construct your bridge--after the drug harvest

Engineers involved in the construction of the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world also had to deal with dangerous drug cartel in Mexico

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Bill Wilson is the editorial director of ROADS & BRIDGES magazine and has been covering the industry since 1999. He has won seven Robert F. Boger Awards for editorial excellence, including three in 2011. He also was the creator of the Top 10, Contractor's Choice Awards and Recycling Awards platforms, as well as ROADS & BRIDGES Live.

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Construction of the Puente Baluarte bridge in Mexico was delayed because of the harvest. This harvest involved marijuana and opium poppy. Engineers tied to the cable-stayed bridge, which is the highest of its kind in the world, were actually contacted by local drug lords and ordered not to start anything until crops were collected. The engineers complied, and now the two sides "respect each other."

How many pounds of drugs are going to flow across this span in the years to come? And it does not sound like Mexico is going to set up any kind of drug check point in the near future. If you are an engineer, could you imagine someone from the Latin Kings calling you and essentially demanding that a project not start until a certain time? What would you do if you ever did receive such a call? I would imagine most, if not all, would call the local authorities and arrests would be made.

Mexico is such a bizarre land, yet it is now home to an engineering marvel. I would encourage everyone to go and catch a glimpse of this stunning structure, but I'm sure all of you would be fearful of losing your life. I know I would. Save yourself the terror and check out this youtube video.

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