The Sixaola river crossing today: the Bailey bridge (left) allows the passage of one vehicle at a time, while the old structure, originally a railroad bridge more than a century old, allows passage for pedestrians. Photo Yessica Salazar, La Nacion
The Sixaola river crossing today: the Bailey bridge (left) allows the passage of one vehicle at a time, while the old structure, originally a railroad bridge more than a century old, allows passage for pedestrians. Photo Yessica Salazar, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – The construction of a new Costa Rica – Panama bridge over the Sixaola river, is expected to start in June, announced Panama’s Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (Ministry of Economy said and Finance – MEF).

At a cost of US$15 million dollars, the new bridge, 260 metres (845 feet) long and 17 metres (55 feet) wide, will replace the old structure that is more than a century old.

The structure will feature a vehicular passage, a 3 meter (10 foot) bicycle lane (ciclo via) and a pedestrian walkway, which will benefit transit through Central America and solve an old aspiration of the people of the region of the Panamanian province of Bocas del Toro, the MEF said in an official statement.

Bidding for the project is scheduled to take place in April, said in a statement the director of the ministry’s Central America Coordination Unit, Omar Gomez.

US$5 million dollars of the total cost will be provided by Costa Rica, the remaining US$10 million coming from grant funding by the Yucatan Program (Mesoamerican Infrastructure Fund), according to the MEF.

The bridge will be two-thirds (62%) in Costa Rican territory.

In addition to the bridge work, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is it supporting both countries with loans to modernize border crossings between the two countries in Guabito, Renaissance and Paso Canoas, said the MEF.

Today, at the Sixaola crossing, a Bailey bridge allows the passage of one vehicle at a time, while the old structure, originally a railroad bridge more than a century old, allows passage for pedestrians.

No word from the MEF on the time to complete the project.