QCOSTARICA – The expansion of Ruta 27, the San Jose – Puerto Caldera road, will cost about US$646 million dollars, according to the estimates by Globalvia, the concessionaire.
This is indicated by the proposal and the costs to specify that plan, received last week by the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones (CNC) – National Council of Concessions, and released this Thursday at Casa Presidencial.
José Manuel Sáenz, technical secretary of the CNC, explained that now there is a period of analysis to determine different scenarios and begin the negotiations with the concessionaire, in order to have a viable financial model, which must also consider the impact on the tolls paid by users.
“We are going to enter into a review period, of not less than three months, it is one of ‘stretch and shrink’. This is the most difficult report, the most complete of everything to come, because the operating and financing costs would come with the financial model, ” he explained.
The intention of the Government is that the expansion of the route is carried out in stages.
The works are urgent since the road reached its maximum capacity now for more than six years, that is, not long after its inauguration in 2010.
Once an agreement is reached on the financial model and structuring of the project, the estimated costs of the increase in tolls must be submitted to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (Aresep). Subsequently, the contractual addendum must be endorsed by the Comptroller General (CGR).
The CNC’s estimate is that by March 2022 the entire work plan will be approved.
In the information released this Thursday by the Presidency, the Government did not detail the extension, nor the state contribution that should be made to reduce the cost of tolls.
The initial estimate presented at the beginning of last year was that the expansion would cost around US$500 million and would be ready within five years from the start to finish.
To recover the investment, Globalvia would have to continue operating the route for at least 15 more years past the 2033 current end of the concession contract.
A dream or a reality?
In its proposal, the company divided the route into three sections:
- Sector I – between the National Gymnasium and the Siquiares exchange (Coyol), that would include the construction of an underpass at kilometer zero; expansion to four lanes in each direction the Circunvalación and the Escazú tollbooth; and three lanes in each direction from Multiplaza to Santa Ana and the Lindora radial, with a new exchange.
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- Sector II – between the Siquiares and Balsa interchange. In this section, the road would be expanded to two lanes in each direction, with shoulders and separation in the middle with concrete barriers, including the building of two new bridges (Rio Grande and Jesús María), among others.
- Sector III – between the Atenas and the Orotina exchanges. It includes the expansion to two lanes in each direction on this route, with shoulders and physical separation with concrete barriers, special solutions determined by the studies for slopes where there are landslide problems, and the construction of a new major bridge over the Concepción and Salitral rivers, among other works.
Given Costa Rica’s historical record of road infrastructure, is the expansion of the ruta 27 as proposed by the concessionaire a dream or a reality?
Although the proposal is ambitious, the reality of what the expansion will actually be could be something entirely different.
You decide for yourself.