Inaugurated in 2013, the Las Coloradas Bridge was built out of prefabricated parts in order to connect the small town of Las Coloradas to the larger Río Lagartos. Las Coloradas (whose name means The Colored or Red Ones) is a relatively new town, settled mostly by employees of the Sal Sol salt works. These salt works are based around the eponymous Coloradas Lakes which, due to their high salinity, support a population of algae that turns the water into a variety of colors such as yellow, dark blue, and most famously, bright pink.
Río Lagartos on the other hand is an older town, the main settlement located in the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, which was established in 1999. While the town’s name can be translated as Lizards River, the Biosphere uses the word “ria,” which is the same in English and does not refer to a river, but rather to a former river valley that has been flooded, usually by brackish or saltwater. Because of its unique ecosystem, the Ría Lagartos Reserve has long drawn people to Northern Yucatán, although it may be in the process of becoming out-visited by the lakes of Las Coloradas.
While Río Lagartos has long been connected to the rest of the state by road, Las Coloradas could formerly only be reached by boat on the ria. Las Coloradas’s boom therefore would likely not have been possible without this bridge opening in 2013. With a length of 147 feet (45 meters), it crosses the Lagartos Ria while suspended high enough to allow boats to pass under it, as well as offering a shady platform from which locals can fish and spend time.
Assembled out of prefabricated parts, the bridge represents efforts extending from the Mexican state of Veracruz (where the 46-meter-tall pillars were made) to Europe (place of origin of the cables that stay the structure).