Puerto La Cruz? You can’t get there from here…

All transit between Caracas and the East of Venezuela is halted for now, after a bridge located near the Barlovento town of Cupira (in Eastern Miranda State) collapsed. The only alternate route is to go around via Los Llanos, a detour through a road that has big problems of its own.

While the National Guard blocked access to Miranda State Government, VP Elias Jaua went there and promised a temporary solution in a fortnight. What he didn’t mention was this was the third road collapse in a single week, after one in Aragua and another in Monagas.

Recent heavy rainfall has created all kinds of headaches, bringing our road network to the brink. According to one expert, 80% of all roads in Venezuela have surpassed its useful lifespan. The problem just worsened when the Chavernment took all control of roads from State Governorships in 2009.

In Caracas (a place where hideous traffic is routine), terrestrial transit is the most used method of transportation for people and goods. Those who have to go in or out of the city face hair-raising road safety statistics: 358 traffic incidents happened on the main entrances of the capital in the first six months of 2012.

Specialists are also warning that in a disaster scenario (such as – knock on wood – an earthquake), at least two of the three major access points to Caracas could suffer serious damage. Too long deferred maintenance, no effective oversight of the vehicle fleet and even the action of squatters could make matters worse if a grave emergency strikes.

Even in highways now spared by adverse weather, the situation is nothing short of critical.