In the first hours of the new year, a large crater formed in one of the San Jose bound lanes of the Juan Pablo II bridge, in La Uruca.
In the first hours of the new year, a large crater formed in one of the two San Jose bound lanes of the Juan Pablo II bridge, in La Uruca.

QCOSTARICA – It was back in May 2014, a year and seven months ago, when on his first day as president, Luis Guillermo Solis, signed a decree making the intervention of twelve bridges and nine sewer systems a national priority.

Today, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (Conavi) – national highway council – confirms that only three bridges have seen minor repairs. Of the sewers, the national water and sewer company, the AyA, assures it is addressing the problem.

Evidence of this lack of “priority” is the current situation on the Juan Pablo II bridge, where over the last couple of days, a large crater formed in one of the two lanes of the San Jose bound traffic and the solution is patching it a wooden scaffold underneath the bridge to hold the concrete pour.

Let’s not even get into the bridge over the Virilla river or “platina” that is now in its eight year of “state of repair”.

Cristian Vargas, manager of roads and bridges at the Conavi, said the remaining six are under study and design, with some requiring a complete replacement.

Vargas explained there are several steps in the process, assuring that none are in “critical” or “collapse” situation, though studies by the Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales (LANAMME) – National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models at the University of Costa Rica, says otherwise.

The Juan Pablo II bridge is part of the autopista General Cañas, the major road to and from San Jose, with a daily traffic count of 90,000 vehicles.


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