The “platina” bridge will cost another ¢4 billion colones, the amount of the latest contract award by the ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – public road works – this fourth attempt to repair the bridge.
MOPT minister Pedro Castro, announced Monday that the Costa Rican company Codocsa S.A. won the bid at ¢4.391 billion colones, the lowest in the bidding war that included bids from the Constructora Hernán Solís at ¢5.088 billion and Consorcio Meco-Puente Prefa at ¢6.327 billion.
Castro said, barring any appeals, the contract will be signed and work will begin within a month.
The problems of the bridge over the Virilla river on the autopista General Cañas began in 2009 when a 10 centimetre (4 inch) gap was noticed between the concrete spans.
The first repair didn’t take. The second repair didn’t last 24 hours before the concrete patch began to crumble. A third attempt, almost 18 months later was made, interrupting traffic on the country’s busiest road for months. In less than two weeks after “the completion” of the job, concrete between the metal grates began to crumble. One worker was killed by a drunk driver and another injured during that work period.
In the meantime a series of patch jobs have kept the bridge’s concrete slab from further crumbling.
The MOPT minister said that the new contract calls for a 13 month work period, twelve of which will be for worder under the structure and one month on the surface.