Costa Rica has the second worst roads in the region

Expert says Costa Rica should be building the equivalent of three San Ramón roads per year "if we want to catch up"


Costa Rica’s are ranked second in Latin America in terms of connectivity and second to last in quality.

That is the revelation by an account prepared by Deloitte, based on the results of the Global Competitiveness Index (GPI) of the World Economic Forum that measures the characteristics of 140 economies in the world.


This report focuses its results on pillars such as infrastructure, services, health, the labor market and the financial system, among others.

With respect to infrastructure, in addition to roads, port, airport and rail services are evaluated.

On “roads”  is were precisely the country had its worst grades in the two components under the magnifying glass: connectivity and quality.

Costa Rica ranked 111 out of 140 economies evaluated in terms of connectivity and ranked 124th in quality.

Specifically, Deloitte compared the evaluations obtained by 17 economies in the Americas.

Federico Villalobos, director of financial advice for that firm, explained that this is the first time that the report includes the connectivity indicator, which measures how long drivers travel from one place to another.

In as much, the quality is a question that is made to the productive sector on the state of the highways.

“To put it in perspective, in connectivity we are only ahead of Guatemala and in quality, we only surpass Guatemala and Paraguay,” said Villalobos.

The expert added that these positions respond to the limited investment in infrastructure in the country.

“That comes from two main factors, which is the financial limitations that we all know and second, we have a very deep lack of planning and preparation of projects,” he said.

For his part, Rándall Murillo, executive director of the Cámara de la Construcción (Chamber of Construction), stressed that the lag that has been for several years in road infrastructure, responds to the inability to carry out work and the “very poor management capacity of the Costa Rican government”.

However, he described the current work by the government as “titanic work” to promote stalled projects.

“The work in these months has been more than satisfactory (…). However, given that we have many years of lag, there is still a lot to do, we need to put a scalpel, to the State institutions and specifically, to the councils, such as the National Council of Roads (Conavi) and the National Council of Concessions (CNC), so that under the framework of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), radically improve their capacity for execution and that we do not continue to face the situations we have experienced until now,” said Murillo.

Villalobos added that to improve the rating, the country should be investing two or three times more than what is currently being invested.

According to him, the works that are being executed today are outstanding projects that should have been ready for years.

“We invest about 1% of the GDP (gross domestic product) in transportation infrastructure, that’s equivalent to US$600 million dollars. We should be investing two or three times that amount. To put it in perspective every 1% of the GDP is equivalent to a San José-San Ramón road (a road with almost five decades in the making), if we want to catch up we should build the equivalent of three San Ramón roads per year,” he explained.