China is willing to lend Costa Rica US$400 million dollars for the extension and improvements to the Ruta 32, the San José – Limón road, but with conditions.
One of the conditions, according to the minister of Public Words and Transport (MOPT), Pedro Castro, is that there be no competing bids or tender, in order to give the contract unilaterally to a Chinese company.
According to Castro, who spoke in live radio Friday, the Chinese are also demanding that the cost of construction will not be inflated, such as adding extra expenses after the contract is signed.
The minister added that another condition of the contract is that government assume the cost – not to come from the loan – of relocating utilities and land expropriations.
If the conditions are accepted by Costa Rica the agreement for the loan would be signed during China’s president visit to Costa Rica on Monday.
The Ruta 32 is a major route between the Caribbean ports of Limón an Moín – and the future fuel refinery – to San José and the rest of the country.
The construction work will see the expansion of 100 kilometres of the Ruta 32 between Rio Frio and Limón centre, that includes the building or reconditioning of five bridges, the construction of a 25 km bicycle path, 170 bus bays and 30 pedestrian overpasses.