The announcement Monday of the approval for the concessioning of the Ruta 1 – the Interamericana Norte – has residents west of the airport concerned, as tolls can be as high as ¢80.000 colones monthly for commuters.
San Ramón, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Poás and Atenas, among others, are communities that house thousands who daily work in Alajuela, Heredia and San José who face tolls of up ¢4.000 daily to get to and from an work, multiplied by at least 20 work days per month.
Currently on the Ruta 1, made up of the autopista General Cañas from La Sabana to the airport and the Bernardo Soto from the airport and San Ramón , there are only two toll stations: one westbound ahead of the airport that costs ¢75 and the other east of Naranjo, San José bound, that charges ¢150 colones.
The start of construction is expected within six months and expected to take 30 months to complete, when commuters will be forced to bear the added expense of using the toll road or take the old road to Alajuela, which would add up two hours or more to daily travel.
According to plans released by the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT) on Monday the concession road will have five toll stations and reduce the time to travel the 58 kilometres between San Ramón and San José to about 20 minutes, as compared to almost three times that now.
The MOPT said Monday that the contract as awarded to the Brazilian company OAS, which will construct the road and maintain it under a 30 year concession contract, a contract that has been approved by the Contraloría (Comptrollers office) and forms part of the original plan called Autopistas del Valle.