Road will be a toll road under concession for the next 30 years

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The extension and reconstruction of the San José – San Ramon road will start in the next six months, announced presidenta Laura Chinchilla on Monday.

The presidenta emphasized that an integral part of the contract is road maintenance, as Costa Ricans deserve better roads.

The San José – San Ramón work is divided into five stages that runs from La Sabana in San José, at the start of the autopista General Cañas to San Ramón in the province of Alajuela.

According to the ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), Pedro Castro, the cost is US$523 million dollars and take 30 months to complete. The work includes the intervention of 8 bridges and the building of 10 overpasses, including some sections being expanded to four lanes and in the case of the Juan Pablo II bridge to eight lanes.

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The 58 kilometres between La Sabana and San Ramón will be a concession road, similar to the Ruta 27 (San José – Caldera),  with five toll stations and under the management of the Brazilian company, OAS, for the next 30 years. The cost of the toll is expected to be ¢3.800 colones.

Besides having a ‘world class’ highway, minister Castro says that travel time between San José and San Ramón will be greatly reduced. It currently takes – without traffic congestion – about 45 minutes to travel the distance.

Although presidenta Chinchilla was positive and expressing satisfaction on achieving a goal that she says was a priority for her government, she predicted that the first objections will start appearing in “less than 24 hours”.

Ruta 1 or the Interamericana is the busiest road in Costa Rica. The section between the Juan Pablo II bridge and the airport was expanded to six lanes some years ago, doing away with shoulders and with two four lane bridges acting as bottlenecks.

Editor’s Note: The news of the approval clears up why literally and without explanation the reconstruction of the Bernardo Soto portion (airport to Recope) of the Ruta 1, came to a standstill several months ago. It also explains the MOPT’s feet dragging with the repair of the “platina” bridge.