Monday 21 June 2021

[BLOG] THE CALDERA HIGHWAY – ROUTE #27- MANAGEMENT CUDOS AND CRITICISMS

ruta27-costa-rica

QCOSTARICA – The Caldera Highway, as it is known to most of us living in Costa Rica, or Costa Rica Highway Route #27, as it is officially designated, has become one of the most important traffic links in the Country, connecting San Jose and other points in the Central Valley, with the Central Pacific Coast.

It was thirty years in the planning and building stages, like most major highway projects in Costa Rica and was outmoded in its design the day it opened, with short tracks of four lane highway leading to five major two lane bridges along its thirty-eight kilometer route.

- Advertisement -

Traffic, during peak use periods, can be backed-up for miles and delays stretch into hours.

The highway, although almost immediately upon opening becoming an indispensible part of the transportation system in Costa Rica, has been a recipe for disaster from the outset.

Initially, the Costa Rica Government expropriated too narrow of a right-of-way from adjoining land owners to the highway route, necessitating steep cuts through mountainous terrain, rather than a terraced approach, providing for a more controlled approach to rain water runoff.

This has necessitated a “work-in-progress” approach for the life of the highway, in maintaining the route open in the rainy season when slides and blockages are prevalent in these “steep cut” sections of the highway.

- Advertisement -

Trying to “glue” the shale rock sides of these steep cuts with sprayed-on cement, as has been tried to-date, will never be the answer. The water pressure build-up from behind during peak rain water runoff periods will defeat the sprayed-on cement cover, as has occurred.

One of the most innovative approaches to traffic management in Costa Rica, has been the reverse traffic lane flow on the Caldera Highway, principally used for movement of traffic toward San Jose, to accommodate returning traffic from the Pacific beach areas at the end of holiday periods.

To this traffic flow management, I “tip my hat” in approval to MOPT (Transportation Ministry) and the highway concessionaire, as it insures a speedy, safe, and effective manner to move a lot of traffic during these peak periods, with all traffic lanes leading to San Jose. I have heard it said that it would also be useful to publish alternate routes for drivers, especially tourists, who wish to travel in the opposite direction of the traffic flow during these periods.

One of the most annoying management aspects of the highway, is the toll both traffic lane management.

Commonly, there will be an exclusive traffic lane offered on the right hand side for “quick pass” (electronic pass) users, with exclusive lanes for manual pay users in the middle lanes and a mixed manual pay and quick pass lane on the left.

Putting manual pay and quick pass users in the same toll booth lane, in my opinion, defeats the purpose of ever obtaining a quick pass. At peak traffic times, mixing the two types of toll users, manual and quick pass, defeats obtaining the desired unimpeded traffic flow.

- Advertisement -

I believe that the correct approach would be an exclusive quick pass lane on the extreme left, with another on the extreme right. This would allow the faster travelling lighter vehicle traffic to pass the toll via the left quick pass lane, emerging on the other side aligned with the left hand, faster moving traffic lane of the highway.

Heavier vehicle traffic would use the right-hand quick pass lane, emerging on the other side aligned with the right hand, slower moving traffic lane of the highway.

The Caldera Highway over-all, has been a blessing to transportation in Costa Rica, but there is room for improvement.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Richard Philpshttp://costaricacanadalaw.com/
Attorney Richard (Rick) Philps is a Canadian citizen, naturalized as a citizen of Costa Rica. Rick practiced law in Victoria, B.C., Canada as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, for fourteen years, prior to moving to Costa Rica in 1998. Rick then earned his Bachelor of Laws and Licensing Degrees (Civil Law), with Honours, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, from the Metropolitana Castro Carazo and Escuela Libre de Derecho Universities, in San Jose. Rick is a member of the Costa Rica College of Lawyers, and practices law in Costa Rica in the areas of real estate and development, corporate, commercial, contract, immigration, and banking. To contact Attorney Rick Philps about hiring him as your Costa Rican Attorney; Email: rick@costaricacanadalaw.com, Website: www.costaricacanadalaw.com

Related Articles

Plate rupture has potential for stronger quakes

QCOSTARICA - The 5.7-magnitude tremor, felt at 5:27 pmon Thursday, occurred...

Rainy season official commenced in the Central Valley this week

QCOSTARICA - If you have been putting, resisting to give in,...

MOST READ

Despite investigation, construction of road works by H. Solís will continue

QCOSTARICA - Five major road works under the responsibility of the H. Solís company will continue in development despite investigations for alleged corruption involving...

Rainy afternoons and nights this week in most of the country

QCOSTARICA - Characteristic of the rainy season, we will see rain in the afternoons and nights in the Central Valley, the entire Pacific coast,...

Informants assisted OIJ in corruption investigations, says the minister

QCOSTARICA - The investigation into alleged bribery of public officials in exchange for contracts for road works, received help from informants within the Consejo...

Bribed with cars, sexual favors and money in exchange for road works contracts

QCOSTARICA - The OIJ uncovered a big pothole on Monday when it was announced that public officials had allied with construction companies that, apparently,...

Internet speed decreases during peaks in service

QCOSTARICA - Ever wonder why your surfing on the Internet slows down, to even a crawl, mainly in the evenings? This is due to...

Companies covered up defective asphalt

QCOSTARICA - The judicial file of the Cochinilla Case, on alleged corruption in road works, exposes how three companies would have covered up the...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

Heavy downpours generated the first phreatic eruption of this year at the Turrialba volcano

QCOSTARICA - Several residents of La Pastora, La Central and Monte Calas, in the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano, heard a loud rumbling early...

Will that be Cash or Sinpe Móvil?

QCOSTARICA - Sinpe Móvil is easy to use. From your phone, you can send money to friends, family and pay for things. Or receive...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.