Wednesday 5 October 2022

Let’s be honest for a change

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05 October 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

Paying the bills

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s be real and honest for a change. Highway 1 between San Ramon and Esparza is a disgrace and has been for years.

I happen to live in Cambronero and I travel the route regularly so I am speaking from direct experience. Collapses on the side of this roadway have been present for several years.

According to the engineers from Lanamme, the problem at this point located in the Empalme sector has persisted for decades and has never been effectively intervened; the gap is currently more than 2.5 meters. In addition, it is noted that there is a “total absence” of road safety and containment elements between lanes and on the side of the road, Photo: Lanamme

Work began on one section about 3 years ago and then the work stopped before any significant repairs were made and now the roadway itself is down into the ravine and what could have been a much simpler repair project is now a major highway collapse.

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This is in the area where the three traffic lanes are present. A few kilometers above this area the road drops off many meters and the only thing preventing another disaster is a six-inch hump of asphalt.

Near El Empalme where the road is split by previous collapses, the road has sunk, divided, separated, and even completely fallen into large holes. This area backs up traffic significantly.

Let me not forget near the new bridge in Rio Jesus the outside lane of the road fell into the ravine a few years ago and the solution as is the case all over Costa Rica is simply to hammer signs through the pavement to block yet another lane of traffic. Potholes are so deep in many places that it is not uncommon to see motorists changing broken tires from striking them.

This highway (Ruta 1) should be a showpiece of this country since it is connected to both borders, north, and south, but instead, it is a national disgrace and embarrassment to this country. Many of these landslides could be averted if someone smart enough would simply survey the most vulnerable locations before these tragedies occur similar to what happened Saturday afternoon and eliminate them, sort of as they do for avalanches.

It appears to me that all of the money for new or improved roads ends up in Alajuela and San Jose and the rest of the areas in the central valley are left out. Millions were dumped into a major highway from Cañas to Liberia, but most people have to travel through the mountains to get there so what purpose does it serve when traffic backs up for many kilometers because one large truck cannot drive over 20 kph and there are no areas to legally or safely pass.

Whoever claims to know something about traffic flow has apparently never driven through the mountains near Rio Jesus, Cambronero and Esparza. Now that Highway 1 is closed indefinitely it is forcing drivers to try to use the mountain road into Rio Jesus and if you happen to drive a tank or other high-clearance vehicle which can drive over ruts, ditches and landslides you are lucky, but for most of us we have now been totally disconnected from San Ramon and other locations towards the capital.

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Unfortunately, I am certain the deities who control this country never make it out to areas like here because the ride would be much too slow and rough for them to endure.

G. Zavadil
Cambronero de San Ramon

The foregoing was reprinted with permission from the writer. You can send your comments to gzavadil@gmail.com.

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Reports by QCR staff

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