In Mexico, one of the main examples of he high performance concrete structures is the dock of Progreso, in Yucatan.

The construction of the dock began 71 years ago (in 1937) and has been in service for 67 years (since 1941), working in perfect conditions and without significant corrosion problems.

The structure was planned in simple concrete mainly and, according to its builders, it was the first to use stainless steel (type304) for strengthening, and for avoiding the concrete’s contractions in the dock 3’s headers. An amount of 0.15as used in the plain stainless steel pieces of 30 mm of diameter 4.

Recently, the interest for the development of the high performance concrete structures- which does not implies necessarily the use of the firsts- has created the creation of international organizations dedicated to the study and spreading of new design and construction methods to obtain them. Although in recent years this term has become fashionable, history shows that our ancestors –Mayas, Egyptians, Romans, etc. - understood the importance for the structures to have a long useful life period in zero-maintenance conditions.


Going hand to hand with these ideas. Is the economic factor; that is, it is required for the structures to have and adequate behavior for many years –up to 70, for instance- and at a competitive cost. In the case of the ports, the enemy to conquer is the deterioration due to corrosion of the concrete armature. This means that the high performance structures in marine environments have to take under account the corrosion factor.

The original dock used to be a viaduct of 1.7 kilometers long and a 200 by 500 meters platform. The construction system was made based in pillars, headers, arches and side walls on top of the arches to contain the riprap for the asphalt course.

The construction of the platform ended in September 1941.
A little after the platform was finished, the construction of the Terminal, or Fiscal Customs building, was bided for; the construction began in 1942 and ended in 1945, when the whole construction was inaugurated; the most important maritime building in all South East of Mexico.


The materials were the most common at that time: medium resistance concrete and corrugated carbon steel. The original dock –which was built from 1937 to 1941- is a great example of a high performance concrete structure to face corrosion, for its design was made in accordance to the necessities of the moment, the zero-maintenance future provisions, the adaptation of the low quality local construction materials, to the necessities of the project and the use of the concept of the concrete with the select use of stainless steel for a specific purpose.

Is worth mentioning that this dock works just as it was originally planned and with minimum maintenance, limited to a coat of paint from time to time and minor repairs associated to the docking facilities, thus fulfilling its high performance concrete structure characteristics.