Collective catharsis due to the state of abandonment of Route 11 in northern Santa Fe

“I want to be part of the last family to lose the life of an innocent person,” said Mabel Arteaga, mother of Matías, who had an accident with his motorcycle on Route 11 and died a few weeks later. “Someone take responsibility,” she demanded and there was loud applause from the Chamber of Deputies open for the public hearing on the serious state of the national route between Santa Fe and the border with Chaco.

Arteaga, Matías’s mother, is a neighbor of Gobernador Crespo and prepared the text that she read in the room, hurt and excited, but with the need to be heard. Matías Alejandro Sabino was traveling, on December 7, 2023, by motorcycle along national route 11 to work in San Justo, from the town of Gobernador Crespo, due to a transportation strike that took place that day. On February 27, the 24-year-old died in the hospital from the injuries received that day. The mother’s pain was one of the harsh testimonies heard in the Chamber of Deputies. The stories of firefighters, paramedics and ambulance drivers were also eloquent. He was so eloquent that the communal president of San Antonio de Obligado asked the national official who must sign the work to put Route 11 in condition, so that he knows the danger of traveling through that corridor.

See alsoRoute 11, death trap with state complicity

With Clara García, president of the Chamber of Deputies and five representatives from the north leading the assembly, testimonies were heard from mayors, community presidents, councilors, industrialists, merchants, students, transporters, representatives of the national road works union and the minister himself of Public Works, Lisandro Enrico who was present as soon as the weekly cabinet meeting ended.

Helplessness in the face of the lack of definitions from the national government towards the corridor. It is the mood that dominated the scene in Deputies. The decision to convene this open town hall arose at the request of deputies Pablo Farías (PS) and Dionisio Scarpin (UCR) plus northerners Sergio Rojas, María del Rosario Mancini (both socialists) and Emiliano Peralta (Somos Vida) after the meeting held in Malabrigo weeks ago called by Mayor Roberto Sponton and the People’s Defenders of Santa Fe, Chaco and Formosa. What’s more, this Wednesday the defenders of Santa Fe and Formosa were exhibiting at the venue.

“There is a recurring concern about Route 11,” García said at the April meeting. Farías raised the need for the sectors to express themselves and Scarpin warned that it will not be the last call “now the fight is about the need for an immediate settlement, but the underlying fight is to have the route that we deserve.”

Precinct filled with Deputies with concerns about the state of Route 11. Credit: Manuel Fabatía

In this framework, the self-employed and businessmen reported the hardships. For example, Mario Ramallo, hacienda transporter, pointed out the extra costs that must be assumed when traveling that road and gave as an example that each cover that is destroyed by a well costs $700 thousand or two million pesos to break the front axle. “There are wells, we don’t see rainy days, there are no shoulders and international transportation doesn’t get off the road,” were repeated expressions. “We are rescuers and we don’t want to be rescued,” said Cristian Bianchi from San Justo, from the San Justo fire department, while Diego Piccinini, also from San Justo, recounted the adventures involved in transferring a person in an ambulance from that city to Santa Fe. .

c12a6fd62f.jpgSee alsoThe center-north of Santa Fe joined forces and demanded the urgent status of Route 11

From Fisfe, Víctor Sarmiento was upset by the national government’s neglect of Santa Fe. “There are 980 kilometers where production travels and they don’t even recognize us for that,” the industrialist complained.

Senator Paco Garibaldi (PS – La Capital) took the data from the work of the Center for Studies and Services of the Santa Fe Stock Exchange on the contributions that come from Santa Fe producers to the national treasury and that would serve to make the route twice. “They know what is happening, Route 11 does not reach Buenos Aires and therefore the authorities measure the magnitude of the problem.”

Two representatives of the national Road Workers Union delivered a map of the status of the tenders in the corridor. “We do not want to be complicit in new accidents on the route,” said the women who anticipated that the union will be presenting a project in Congress to declare all routes in emergency. Later they denied that the solution is to concession the route as some legislators proposed.

“It is not an option not to maintain the current infrastructure,” said the radical José Corral while the mayor of Vera, Paula Mitre, complained about the problems caused to her city by the lack of dialogue with national authorities due to the wall effect caused by the route when rain occurs. Héctor Leiva, communal president of Nelson, raised something similar.

Rocío Bonacci is a national representative for La Libertad Avanza and participated in the public hearing although she did not ask to speak and at the end of the meeting she quickly left the Chamber. The legislator attended accompanied by her mother Beatriz Brouwer, provincial deputy for Somos Vida.

The Minister of Public Works, Lisandro Enrico, participated in a large part of the public hearing and presented the situation and the efforts that his portfolio has been carrying out before national authorities that are changing and multiplying the difficulties when seeking agreements.

“The only thing achieved so far is that they allow us to participate in partial solutions,” said Enrico, recalling that Santa Fe has 2,800 km of national routes but must also serve 4,500 of provincial routes. He reviewed what was done in the southern part of Route 11 to cover holes and allow trucks to pass to ports at this harvest stage and reported that the province will provide about 6 thousand tons of asphalt so that part of the route corridor between Santa Fe and Governor Crespo. He also reported that in recent days, Economía authorized the signing of 22 contracts for the continuity of works in national corridors, four of which correspond to Santa Fe. “Everything is minimal and requires a lot of patience. It is one thing not to do public works and another “is not maintaining the road corridors, which is the obligation of the national State,” said the minister. On the other hand, he reported that the machines were put back in the route area to repair the section between Gobernador Crespo and Malabrigo that had been abandoned months ago due to lack of payment to the contracting firm.

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