We decided to take a tour to the town of Durango. The driving (pun intended) attraction was the new super highway which just opened at the end of 2013.
A tour is definitely worth it as it is a long drive and coming back in the dark on your own would not be fun.
We initially asked for a tour that would include an overnight stay in Durango but there were none offered.
The 227.3 kilometer (136 mile) highway cost 28.6 billion pesos. With the opening of the superhighway Mazatlán will become the gateway for products moving from Asia to the east coast of the United States. The drive from Mazatlán to San Antonio, Texas will now be reduced to six hours.
For movie fans of old the drive is through the Sierra Madre mountains and invokes memories of the old film starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by John Huston, Treasure of the Sierra Madre is the tale of three gringos who set out to strike it rich in Mexico’s remote Sierra Madre mountains.
From the 1940s to last year the only option was the old highway 40 nicknamed the Devil's Backbone was an arduous 6-8 hour drive which snaked its way through many small towns.
The Mazatlán-Durango highway has 61 tunnels and 115 bridges The Baluarte Bridge is one of the highest and longest cable-stayed bridges in the world.
Here is a quick video of the highway
Here is another intriguing article on the highway.
There are four toll booths and the cost for a car one way is about $50 US. Fees are based on the number of axles so it increases for trucks.
Workers continue to put the finishing touches and rock slides have been a problem in bad weather so these men are attaching netting over the rocks/
Some of the tunnels have "holes".
Workers on their way.
The bridge is truly an engineering feat spanning the Baluarte River with a clearance from the river bottom of 1,300 feet this 3,600 foot suspension bridge is the highest in the world, making it into the Guinness Book of Records.
You are not supposed to stop on the bridge but the tour guides have it worked out. We park and cross (very carefully) the bridge and walk to a spot where we can get great photos. It is a little disconcerting when a 53 footer comes barreling down the "road".