I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I took a ride out towards Charo to see how the construction was coming along on the new toll road to Morelia's airport, and extending to connect to the Mexico City-Guadalajara autopista. To see how it looked last February, click here
The construction workers that I spoke with told me it will be open by the middle of July, and I tend to believe them. There is still work to be done, mainly cosmetic on the access ramps, painting, rock falling areas, and toll booths. I was able to drive it all the way from its start near Ciudad Industrial out to the Mexico city toll road. Here are a few observations:
It is a two lane highway, but has large shoulders, very similar to the toll highway to Lazaro Cardenas and Ixtapa. Those who are not familiar with these Mexican autopistas can get a chuckle by visiting Mickey Dick's peeks at Highway Lunacy .
(click on photos to enlarge)
(above) Here is the start, the bridge over the DF-Guadalajara toll road (right). 30 kilometers from Avenida Camelinas at the Charo exit. In the photo at the left, you can see the toll booth being built in the distant, those only going to the airport will just pay one toll, but if you are heading to Chilangolandia or Tapatiaville, double whammy on the tolls. What? You were thinking the owners (guess who) were building this highway for the common good?
After a short jaunt of 4.5 KMs, you pass the runway to MLM (above). The control tower can be seen in the distance, this old passenger jet must of got lost in the fog a few years back.
For those of you who ever had the thrill of driving or riding in a bus from Mexico City to Morelia before the toll road opened, you will be happy to note, that once again, you will pass the sleepy little town of Charo. When I was dating my better half, and taking the all nighter on ETN bus lines from Acapulco to Morelia. I remember seeing the steeple on the main church at Charo, thinking, yahoo, I am almost there.
I don't know about these distances, I guess they could be accurate. If so, we are only 2 hours away from both Guadalajara y Mexico city, This sign is directly across from the runway at MLM. It seems that we are getting closer and closer to Mexico city. First they re-routed traffic so we no longer have to traverse Toluca, now we can hook up to the Autopista Guad-Mexico well east of Lake Cuitzeo.
Although a sign near the first toll booth read 50 kms to Morelia. I measured 30 kilometers to Camelinas....if it is 20 kilometers from Camelinas to the historic center of Morelia, I'll eat my sombrero. Sometimes I think tequila plays a part in these sign postings. (sign in photo says 245 kms to Mexico, and 230 km to Guadalajara)
(above) At about 23 kms from where we started, is the second toll and the exit for Bosques at Ciudad Tres Marias. In the photo you can see the corporate office of Posadas de Mexico. We are only about 7 kms from Camelinas avenue here.
These are 2 of the more scenic vistas along the way, Ciudad Industrial, and the new sewerage treatment plant. (Editor's note: sarcasm intended)
With the exception of the above, this entrance from the airport should make for a much better first impression of Morelia and Michoacan. Let's face it, coming in to Morelia from the north on the old road was not showing off our city's best angle.