The Contraloría General de la Republica (Comptroller) has given the green light for the widening of the autopista General Cañas over the Virilla river, known as the “Platina Bridge”.
The widening will be of two extra lanes, one each direction, meeting up to the three lanes of each direction of the country’s most travalled road. The autpista, from the San Pablo II bridge (by the Hospital Mexico) to the Juan Santamaría airport, is three lanes in each direction, but the two bridges (the Virilla and the Rio Segundo) are two lanes, creating bottlenecks.
The Platina bridge has been a headache for drivers and transport officials for more than five years. Despite two major repair attempts, the decades old bridge continued with structural problems, mainly due to lack of regular maintenance during its life and the volume of traffic that is three to five times its original design capacity.
The widening of the bridge became a reality while the current contractor, Codocsa, continued with the structural repair work.
Work on the bridge stopped in October while Transport officials sougt approval for an increase in the final cost of the project, that will now be ¢2.190 billion colones, a 48.74% increase over the original cost (without the widening) of ¢1.067 billion colones.
With the Comptroller’s budget approval, the work will resume later this month. No word on a specific timetable and end of project has been yet made available by transport officials.
In October, in the approval process, Transport officials said the objective of the work was to extend the life of the bridge for another 75 years.