Director de Invias, Vicenministro de infraestructura y subdirector de gestion del riesgo visitan area (Photo: El Heraldo)

An important highway linking the town of Cienaga with the city of Baranquilla on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is at risk of being closed due to the severe effects of coastal erosion.

The prosecutor’s division for environmental and rural affairs asked the ministries of transport and the environment and the National Roads Institute (INVIAS) to take action before any further erosion forces the closure of the highway, Colombian daily El Espectador reported on Sunday.

The prosecutor’s office has asked that these entities, along with the governor of Magdalena, submit a proposal to resolve the problem, ”considering the damage from coastal erosion is occurring at kilometer 19 of the road from Cienaga in the state of Magdalena to Barranquilla, the capital of adjacent Atlantico state.”

“Environmental damage at kilometer 19 is historic.”

The prosecutor’s office expressed concern about the situation due to the constant rapid spread of erosion, highlighting the necessity to recover the affected beach and carry out works to protect the route due to its importance as a national highway.

“It should be noted that the decline of the coastal area has been affected for a long time, and it is now about to take the road, which is why it is urgent that the entities called on by the prosecutor meet this request,” said the prosecutor’s office.

In response, Leonidas Narvaez, the director of INVIAS declared, “What we need is to act quickly with various institutions and direct solutions … to promote the stability and protection of the road,” reported Colombian daily, El Heraldo.

Similarly, the environment minister, Luz Helena Sarmiento said in Santa Marta, that “environmental damage at kilometer 19 is historic.”

Colombia’s National Roads Institute announced in April that it has set aside over $800,000 in finite resources to attend to future roadway emergencies caused by rain damage in certain parts of the country.

MORE$800k set aside to address future road emergencies caused by rain

No similar pledge has been made with regard to the effects of erosion of the country’s roads, however.


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