The Ministry of Public Works (MOPT) has absolved a highway maintenance firm from even partial responsibility for the collapse of a culvert that led to the aptly named “Laura Chinchilla” sinkhole that swallowed two lanes of the Hatillo-Pavas section of the ring road  highway (Circunvalación).

sinking2The waters of the Maria Aguilar River was supposed to flow through the collapsed culvert but became clogged with garbage. The water began to eat its way through, causing a collapse of the rest of the surface.

The Hernan Solis construction company had the responsibility to maintain the highway but, according to MOPT officials the contract did not cover replacement of the culvert, which would have been deemed new construction.

The highway contracting agency Conavi has yet to assign a cause to the collapse but feels that it is most probable the the rising water during heavy rains were too much for the culverts. The resulting backup of waters caused the collapse.

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