Tuesday 18 May 2021

“Eternal appeals” frustrate the start of works in two sections of the Interamericana Norte

Limonal-Barranca expansion works should have started at the beginning of the year, now ...

For this month, the expansion work on the section of the Interamericana Norte highway between Limonal and Barranca (Puntarenas), should have been underway.

At least that was the plan by the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transporters (MOPT).

- Advertisement -

But the reality is another matter. In fact, to date, the MOPT has not even been able to award the contracts. And there is no estimate of when the expected start order could even be given.

This is due to the “eternal appeals processes” that commonly frustrate the start of public works in the country. And this vital project is no exception.

The 49-kilometers of the Ruta 1 from Barranca (Puntarenas) was divided into two sections: the 23.8 km section between Limonal-San Gerardo (Chomes) and the 25.2 km between San Gerardo-Barranca.

Once complete, this section of the Interamerican would be four lanes, to complement the section between Limonal and Cañas, currently under construction, and the already built section from Cañas to Liberia.

- Advertisement -

Once the complete, the Interamericana norte would be four lanes between Puntarenas and Liberia. A dream by many regularly driving this route.

But they, we all, will have to wait.

Both sections of the Limonal – Barranca are eight months behind schedule, delays caused by resolutions of appeals, administrative claims, and re-adjudication of contractions.

According to the MOPT information, in the case of the Limonal-San Gerardo stretch, since the bid was published at the end of 2017, at least 14 objections and two appeals were received.

In June 2018, the Unidad Ejecutora del Programa de Infraestructura de Transportes (PIT) – Executing Unit of the Transportation Infrastructure Program – awarded the work to the San Gerardo consortium, made up of the H. Solís and Meco companies, for US$99 million dollars.

However, this award was annulled by the Comptroller General (Contraloría) last September, due to the fact that said consortium had financial breaches.

- Advertisement -

The contract was then awarded to the Power China company that offered to build the section for US$114 million, which was also appealed and later annulled in February of this year, after determining that the company did not meet some of the experience requirements established as a condition of eligibility.

That cancellation left the government with the possibility to choose only between two bidders: the Puentes Almendro consortium for US$110 million and the FCC construction company (that built the Liberia – Cañas section), whose offer is $116 million. These bids are for an asphalt finish instead of the concrete used in the other sections of the route.

The story in the San Gerardo-Barranca section is similar. In this case, the bidding occurred in July last year and was also awarded to Power China for US$103 million.

That award also annulled on January 24 of this year, when the Contraloría ruled in favor of two appellants and for the same reasons: non-compliance with experience requirements.

In this case, the PIT has a choice of between the offers of four other companies and consortiums, whose costs range between US$103 million and US$109 million.

More appeals expected

Tomás Figueroa, in charge of the PIT for the Limonal-San Gerardo stretch, reported that on April 10 the report was sent to the Advisory Unit with the recommendation of the company to re-adjudicate.

Now, he said, we must wait until the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the entity that is providing the financing for the project, to give the go-ahead.

From there, the notice of re-adjudication will be published and the bidders will have five working days to appeal, then it will be up to the Contraloría to resolve within a period of no more than 30 business days.

For the Barranca-Limonal section, the process began on May 7.

“Most likely, they will appeal again,” Figueroa said. However, he hopes that that won’t be the case.

The official explained that the situation that they face as atypical.

Part of the problem, according to Figueroa, being a project financed by the IDB, procurement policies must be applied in the initial stages and then, in the recursive stages, local regulations and IDB policies.

Figueroa said that this delay causes the cost of the work to rise, because each time an offer is rejected, “the new bid prices go up”.

Positive Spin

The Minister of the MOPT, Rodolfo Méndez, put a positive spin on the process (delays), saying last week that “the experience in these two projects would allow them (the MOPT) to consider improvements in the bids for the future”, in order to avoid this type of setbacks.

The Interamericana Norte (Ruta 1)

The Barranca-Limonal section (in two parts) forms part of the three stages in which the expansion project in the Interamericana Norte between Puntarenas and Liberia.

The Cañas-Liberia section was completed in April 2016. The Cañas-Limonal, which is currently under construction by the Spanish company Azvi, should be ready by the end of next year (2020), as promised by the MOPT.

Both these stages were financed through a US$450 million dollar loan by the IDB.

.

 

 

 

- 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.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Costa Rica studies entering the green hydrogen market

QCOSTARICA - Green hydrogen could be an economic opportunity for Costa...

#DEBUNKED: No girl died in clashes in Cañas

#DEBUNKED - The Ministry of Public Security (MSP) categorically rejected that...

MOST READ

Costa Rica’s contagion rate continues to decline, experts once again warn of a ‘false ilusion’

QCOSTARICA - The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica fell for the second consecutive week and registers the lowest values ​​of the last...

Three thousand hospitalized by the end of May, UCR projects

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,280 people in hospital with covid-19, of which 466 of them in an ICU, aged...

11,773 older adults rejected the covid-19 vaccine; another 441 missed the second dose

QCOSTARICA - A total of 11,773 older adults (defined here as those ages 58 and up) have rejected the covid-19 vaccine and another 441...

Q Media supports AmCham initiative to request donation of vaccines to the United States

QCOSTARICA - The Costa Rican North American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) this week began a Change.org petition to collect signatures to ask the United...

Who are the richest entrepreneurs in the region?

QCOSTARICA - 2020 was marked as a complex year worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the following are entrepreneurs who were not only...

Health expands group 3 vaccination for people from 16 to 58 years

QCOSTARICA - Adolescents of 16 and 17 years old with some risk factor in case of falling ill with covid-19 will be part of...

Protesters tried to block roads, but Police prevented closures

QCOSTARICA - Small groups of protesters tried to block several routes in the country on Monday, but the Fuerza Publica (National Police) managed to...

San Jose airport how has rapid covid-19 testing for travelers

QCOSTARICA -  Travelers who require a negative covid-19 test to enter their destination country may now get tested at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose)...

In hail of bullets in mortal assault in Limon

QCOSTARICA - The Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) recovered more than 23 casings at the site where the failed deadly attempted assault on an...

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.