Q COSTA RICA – The construction of a new bridge between Costa Rica and Panama to a step closer to reality with the award of the tender contract.

The announcement of a new bridge was made early last year with an expected completion date of mid 2017, but in a country where projects and their schedules fade in and out of time, the Luis Guillermo Solis administration seems to be making it a priority.

The old train bridge shown in the picture is no longer in use. There was a temporary bridge built right next to it.
The old train bridge shown in the picture is no longer in use. A temporary (Bailey) bridge was built right next to it. Photo from TripAdvisor.com

To undertake the US$17 million bridge construction, the consortium made up of the Costa Rican firm MECO and the Mexican firms Cal y Mayor y Asociados and Mexpresa were awarded the contract to design and build the bridge over the Sixaola River, on the Caribbean coast.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late February 2017.

The new binational bridge will have one lane in each direction, and will include bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways. It is expected that the new border structure will be in service in the first quarter of 2018.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Works (MOPT) in Costa Rica:

Costa Rica and Panama will start to realize the construction of the new binational Sixaola bridge in the first quarter of next year, with the works having been awarded to the Consorcio Binacional de Sixaola, comprised of the companies: Constructora MECO (Costa Rican), Cal y Mayor y Asociados (Mexico) and Mexpresa (Mexico).

The Office of the United Nations for Project Services (UNOPS), in charge of this project, will sign the contract with the consortium selected next week, which will give the green light to start with the designs of the new structure, which is vital for both countries.

What users have to say

“Don’t be intimidated” and “Not pleasant” are some of the comments by users of the bridge on Tripadvisor.com.

Katerine H. wrote of her visit in April 2015, Crossing from Costa Rica into Panama and vice versa is a fascinating experience! The bridge itself doesn’t look as though it’s long for this world but that doesn’t deter anyone in the slightest. Thankfully, there is now another newer bridge for the massive American style trucks that dominate the roads an and out!

“Most interesting border crossing ever!!” wrote Bubbles in his review of November 2013, before the Bailey structure. “It’s a walking bridge/border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama. If you are ever in Peurto Viejo or Bocas Del Toro I recommend visiting the latter!! A very memorable experience!!”


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