Chuck Holes And Water Leaks On A Main Drag

Wherein we try to sort out acts of God from crappy engineering
BY: CATHY WATKINS

On the corridor between San Jose and Cabo San Lucas, more near Cabo, there are often several big puddles of water standing on the service road in front of the Corona deposito, next to the Pepsi plant.  Pot holes too. The water fills the pot holes, now you’ve got a lake in the middle of the road. The pot holes keep getting deeper and wider due to the action of the water on them. Now we’ve got like Lake Superior, and the cars have got to slow way down to get through it. Traffic jams up.

This mess is hard on the businesses along the road, it damages cars, it causes wrecks, and jams up traffic, as drivers try to maneuver around the holes and pools of water.  There is also a bus stop in the middle of all this, and wading through the mud to get to the stop is pretty unpleasant.

Corona store manager Manuel Gutierrez claims the water out in front of his store is runoff  he says is coming from the Hotel Los Patios right up the street. He says that when they water the grass and gardens at night, they over water, and it runs amuck,  rolling down the street.  He has spoken to the gardener in charge of the irrigation at the hotel, but nothing has changed, he says. The manager is unavailable. Emailing the manager of the hotel didn’t work either. No response. The water still run down hill, sometimes more than other times. 

Frustrated, Gutierrez contacted MegaCable, a local T.V. station, hoping publicity might get them some results.  They promised to come out and they actually did, airing the story on the evening news. Next day a  man taking his daughter to school stopped short to avoid taking a dive into a big pothole and was rear ended by a pickup truck.  The truck driver even commented that he didn’t understand how the road could be in such terrible condition since this is a tourist area. Like the government treats foreigners special. Sigh.

At the scene of the accident Capitan Diego Islas stated that the SCT, Secretary of Communication and Transportation, had been informed of the holes in the road and actually had repaired them on several occasions. He added that the city investigated the situation and yes indeedy, determined the water is coming from the Hotel Los Patios.  The police believe the next step is for the SCT to send a written notice to the hotel to get a grip on their gardening methods, and if they don’t, the hotel should be fined.  He also acknowledged there is a city owned water pumping station up the street which sometimes erupts, spewing water, but this is not the case here. The Capitan pointed out this water is coming from a different direction: the hotel.

Then, much to the surprise of Gutierrez, a couple of officials from the SCT waltzed in to the Corona store and accused the store of dumping the water onto the road in front of him. Gutierrez explained that his store doesn’t even use such a large amount of water and showed them the photos he had taken of the water rolling down from the Hotel Los Patios. He is hopeful that the SCT will now take action against the hotel.

This same family that owns the deposito on one side of the road also operates the store Los Corredores on the other side, which is also afflicted with water problems.  But this isn’t poor water management by a private company. Every time it rains the side of the road completely floods pit and a large amount of sand and silt washes in, making it impossible to stop at any of the businesses located in this area. You can’t get out of your car without wading through very deep water, a foot or more in some places. The entire business district is usually messed up for about a week which definitely has an economic impact.  Juvenil, manager of Los Corredores  said, “Our business suffers because we don’t have any customers.”  He doesn’t believe that the city is interested in solving the problem.  After all, the flooding has been a problem for several years now.  

 The business owners here from Artesanos to Los Corredores  are left to fend for themselves with no easy solution.  Where do they send the water?  Just moving it on down to the next store doesn’t solve the problem and only angers the neighbors. 

Kathia Garcia of Baja Grills said they don’t even open the store when the road is flooded.  In order to deal with the problem, they purchased a pump to pump it away from their store front, and they try to slowly drain it out into the dirt area behind the store, only as fast as the water will sink into the ground. But the small hotel there doesn’t like this arrangement.  At times, Baja Grills tries to pump  it into the median, but that’s an issue with cars driving over the hose.

If they manage to get the water pushed somewhere, they next have to hire workers to sweep up all the dirt and silt and then to haul it away.  The city doesn’t clean that up either. We can all see a huge pile of dirt sitting on the sidewalk just before the turn off to the Riu Hotel, a result of many floods past.  Rohn Kittel, owner of Baja Outdoor Living, stays open to handle service calls even though he doesn’t expect any walk in, (wade in?) traffic, but just to get from his truck to the store, he has to put two large plastic garbage bags on his feet to keep his shoes and pants dry as he wades through the water.  Ron believes even if a drain were built, it would only fill up with all the mud and silt and then water would overflow again.

Most of the shopkeepers here have complained to Public Services, the Health Department, and the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, but with no results. When this first became a problem the city actually held a meeting with the shopkeepers to address the issue.  The city promised they would take care of this, but the architects and engineers who were sent out to the site told the businesses there was no solution.

No solution? Really? We can put a man on the moon but we can’t engineer a highway properly? What they meant to say was they didn’t know what the hell to do and they shouldn’t be drawing a paycheck as engineers. That’s what they meant to say, no doubt.