The San Jose - San Ramon road has a daily traffic volume of 84,000 vehicles. Photo ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion
Reconstruction of the San Jose – San Ramon road, a road with a daily traffic volume of 84,000 vehicles, should start next year. Photo ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – The state bank, the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), has been chosen to hold the trust (fidecomiso in Spanish) that will be used to manage the reconstruction of the highway between San Jose and San Ramon.

The project, that has been on and off again for some years, will see the improvements on the autopistas (highways) General Cañas (from La Sabana to the airport) and the Bernardo Soto (from the airport to San Ramon), part of the Ruta 1 of the Interamericana.

If you will recall, the project had been awarded under concession to the Brazilian construction company, OAS. The project, Autopistas del Valle was cancelled due to allegations of over inflated costs and proposed high toll fees, and involved the cancellation payment of US$35 million dollars by the Chinchilla Miranda (2010-2014) administration.

It is estimated that the business model will be structured in the first half of this year, contracts for designs and final plans awarded by the end of the year and works started in 2017.

Carlos Villalta, Minister of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) said that “there is a feeling of great commitment to close this phase (of the process).”

The Conavi, the roads council division of the MOPT, must now the sign, in the coming three months, the formal contract with the BCR, which then must be approved by the comptroller’s office, the Contraloría General de la República (CGR).

Guiselle Alfaro, deputy minister of infrastructure at the MOPT, said once the GCR has signed off, the project moves to the next phases, pre-operational and pre-construction, that includes the design of the road, expropriations and construction contracts.

The 70 kilometre road reconstruction includes the repair of the “platina” bridge over the Virilla bridge of the General Cañas and the Juan Pablo II bridge.

The completion of this project will also mean the elimination of the two lane bridge west of the airport, paving the way for a muti-lane road between the airport and “radial” from the Coyol intersection to the Ruta 27.

With notes from La Nacion