Cubans Decry Deteriorating Bridge on National Highway with History of Accidents

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Daniel Vasquez

A recent vehicle plummet from a bridge on the National Highway has sparked outcry among Cubans who are denouncing the poor condition of this vital infrastructure and the government's neglect in its upkeep. The incident occurred this Saturday near the 69-kilometer mark of the highway when a 1950s American-made car, locally known as an "almendrón", veered off the road, broke through the bridge's safety barriers, and fell onto the divider below.

A post in the Facebook group 'Accidentes Buses & Camiones' featuring a photo of the damaged bridge and car quickly drew comments from netizens criticizing the authorities' inaction in maintaining infrastructure that has witnessed several similar accidents. The shared image and comments highlighted the bridge's irregular pavement, which seems to cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Many shared their experiences and concerns about this particular spot, noting that several accidents have occurred there.

One internet user commented, "It’s not the first accident there, but no one fixes the bump at the bridge's entrance. Those unfamiliar with it could easily be thrown off the highway." Another pointed out, "Look at the gap between the road's plates," drawing attention to the significant gaps in the pavement.

Others shared their personal encounters with the hazardous bridge. "I was driving there recently. I was surprised by the bump, but I was going slow enough to handle it. It’s dangerous," one user remarked. A truck driver familiar with the area noted, "The first time that bump caught me off guard, I was going no more than 70 km/h, and it nearly threw me off the highway. Imagine those who don’t know the spot and drive over 100 km/h!"

Residents from nearby Nueva Paz expressed their frustration with the lack of speed regulations or warning signs. "There’s no speed limit or any signs indicating it. If you're not familiar with it, this could happen to you," a local said. Another lamented, "The bridge itself is a wreck... What a disaster! Even Ukrainians in war don't have bridges like this."

The general sentiment is one of exasperation at the ongoing negligence. "That bridge has a very dangerous bump, no one fixes it, and I don’t remember any warning signs like in other sections. Nothing, I don’t know what they are waiting for to fix that damn bump," another frustrated user added.

The lack of action appears symptomatic of broader issues within the country. "Nothing gets fixed. This bridge, like all others, has a lot of unevenness, and in this case, it’s diagonal to the road," commented one user. Another summarized the sentiment: "Everything is going from bad to worse. The situation is more than critical: a country abandoned by its rulers."

Reflecting on past incidents, one user recalled, "That area has something off; many cars have gone down off the bridge. Remember the bus with teachers that also went down before reaching the Güines bridge? It was on the news a few years ago." Another shared an image of a previous accident at the same bridge, concluding, "This happened right here, about a month ago. It seems like no one cares."

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