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Cuenca route to Guayaquil thru the Cajas is closed indefinitely

Published on November 16, 2021

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On Saturday several people were nearly killed on a section of the road.

The Cuenca – Molleturo – El Empalme road was closed for an indefinite period by a resolution of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works.

The last incident on this route occurred on Saturday afternoon in the known section of kilometer 49. At that point, a landslide was reported, and material fell on a vehicle. Two people were injured.

The constant landslides make this road a risk for drivers.

In the past 30 days, a driver was killed after large, heavy rocks fell on his car. Eight other people have been injured in other accidents caused by the damage to the road.

This artery is a road used by those who move between Azuay and Guayas.

Minister explains closure

The order of closure was announced on Sunday morning by the MTOP minister, Marcelo Cabrera, who wrote from his Twitter account on the social network: “We announce: the definitive closure of the road until the completion of the hiring process. The Zhud – Cochancay road is in perfect condition as an alternative road ….”

The minister said that they deployed the entire control contingent on the Zhud – Cochancay road to shorten travel times. Permanent staff of the Ecuadorian Traffic Commission will guide drivers thru the indefinite detour.

In a second message, Cabrera indicated that the decision was made in light of the events that occurred. “We repeat that it is not about cleaning with machinery…. the fault at km 49 is of immense gravity. We have tried to keep the path open so as not to affect the community and the economic flow, but we are not going to take more risks.”

Meanwhile, travelers who need to travel between Azuay and Guayas can use the following options as alternative routes: Cuenca- Azogues- Zhud – Cochancay – El Triunfo and Cuenca- Girón – Pasaje – Machala -Guayaquil.

The alternatives to get from Guayaquil to Cuenca will be longer, as weather conditions influence, especially through Cañar.

Days ago, a group of inhabitants of the rural Molleturo parish, belonging to the Cuenca canton, held a sit-in at km 49 of the highway that connects Azuay and Guayas.

They asked that the Ministry of Transport and Public Works rehabilitate and repair the road, but that the restriction of vehicular traffic be avoided, since there are dozens of families affected. The residents temporarily detained Fausto Zaldúa, the district director of the MTOP.

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