The historic heart of Merida, state capital of the Yucatan has had a facelift. Work has taken place in the main square, Calle 60, 61 and 62 and will extend outwards for nine blocks, encompassing the streets leading to San Juan Park, the Arco de Dragones, La Mejorada and the markets. Twelve churches and the Hidalgo, de La Madre and La Paz parks are included. The project is slated for completion by April 2012.
Power and telephone lines are being replaced with underground cables and the crumbling facades of many old buildings are being restored and painted. Curbs and pavements are also receiving attention in this busy area and new park benches, signposts and bins have been installed.
The Cathedral, City Hall, Casa de Montejo and Government House will be illuminated with LED floor lighting and streetlights throughout the city are gradually being substituted with energy-efficient alternatives.
As engineers dug up the squares and streets in the center of Merida archaeologists were on hand to supervise the excavations and some amazing discoveries have been made, including Mayan burials and 18th and 19th century ceramics. Merida was founded in 1542 amidst the ruins of an ancient Mayan city called T’Ho.
The Merida City Museum was also renovated recently.