Tuesday, 27 October 2020

MOPT Gets OK For Another Fix of The “Platina”

“La Platina”, the bridge over the Virilla river on the autopista General Cañas is an example of the failure of the ministry of Transportation and Public Works (MOPT) to effectively carry out public works projects, the sorry state of repairs of bridges in the country and a government agency that just can’t seem to get anything right.

The crumbling concrete and exposed metal grate of the multimillion dollar repair job.
The crumbling concrete and exposed metal grate of the multimillion dollar repair job.

The Platina has undergone several repair attempts over the last several years, costing millions of dollars and the life of one worker.

- Advertisement -

MOPT minister, Pedro Castro, on Monday announced that work on the next attempt to repair the bridge will begin in March, following authorization by the Contraloría General de la Republica (CGR) – Comptroller’s office – to award contracts.

The CGR authorized the approval of three contracts: one to a company to carry out the work, a second to a supervisor body and a third to an inspector for the work.

Castro said that having three levels of responsibility will avoid problems in getting the job done. Five companies are expected to called in to bid on the job(s) that is expected tobbe completed by end of the 2013.

It’s been four years since the first sign of problems on the bridge, when a 10 centimeter (4 inch) gap between the one of the spans was noticed.

- Advertisement -

The MOPT got busy on repairing the problem. But the repair job lasted less than 2 days, when the material used for the patch began to crack.

SAM_26041-e1351569923919-300x161

Months later a second attempt was made, using a different type of material supposedly specific to the problem. That repair job last only several hours this time, breaking up by noon following the road was re-opening to traffic in the early morning hours.

Months would pass before another attempt was made.  Third if you are keeping count. This time, millions of dollars and interruption of traffic for months included work to replace the deck on both sides of the bridge and the installation of a concrete median and retaining wall and a metal mesh guardrail.  (The mesh saved the lives of three in a accident on Saturday, when their vehicle flipped and was stopped from dropping hundreds of feet to the rocky river below. See story.)

During the progress of the third attempt to repair the bridge one worker was run down by a drunk driver and another injured.

The media's lighter look at the Virilla repair.
The media’s lighter look at the Virilla repair.

- Advertisement -

Within days of the “completion”, the concrete surface began to crumble and the metal grate exposed. Over the following weeks larger sections of concrete broke up, in effect causing more problems for drivers than the original gap.

Patches of concrete and asphalt covered up the exposed steel grate and crumbled concrete. This could be called a fourth attempt, but not really since it was a patch and not officially a fix.

Meanwhile the finger pointing began to lay the blame, causing the contractor to pull stakes and abandon the project altogether.

The MOPT – and the people – were left footing the an expensive repair job and with a bridge that was no better than before the problems started.

Yes, the bridges looks newer, but that is mere cosmetics to what is really needed, the bridge taken down and a new one put up.

There are plans for that, but due to financial constraints and problems with a ministry that has been mired in corruption and scandals, like the Trocha, it may be a decade or two or more before work on a new bridge will start.

In the meantime the Virilla is just another chapter on the “chorizeros” (Spanish for corruption) goings on at the MOPT. Will this repair of the Virilla carry on with the tradition?

The answer of bringing in a contractor, a supervisor and inspector sounds good. But who will supervise the inspector and the supervisor of the inspector that supervises the supervisor of the supervisor of the inspector of the supervisor of the contractor…

Sadly to say, this will probably be another “chorizo” job. And all sanctioned by the Comptroller’s office and Casa Presidencial.

Viva el Virilla!

The first muddled repair back in August 2009.
The first muddled repair back in August 2009.

- Advertisement -
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

Cuba Plane Crash: Company ‘Had Safety Complaints’

Solidarity and investigations after the accident. Cuban authorities are investigating the...

The Volcanos Of Central America (By Country)

Among the things most loved by travelers to Central America is...

MOST READ

Will we see the 50% reduction in the 2021 Marchamo? I think so, yes…

RICO'S TICO BULL - On Thursday, on the legislative agenda was the thing (bill) about the reduction of the 2021 Marchamo. Had it been...

Political parties turn their back on Government’s second attempt at dialogue

QCOSTARICA - The second attempt at dialogue by the Executive Power to define the route to follow in search of a solution to the...

CCSS hires 4,000 temporary employees to reinforce the fight against COVID-19

QCOSTARICA - More than 4,000 temporary workers join the payroll of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) to face the care of the...

Dollar is approaching crisis prices after fiscal gap … should we be scared?

QCOSTARICA - The emergency that the country went through at the end of 2018 due to the lack of liquidity at that time had...

Coronavirus and flights: study reveals low transmission of COVID-19 on board aircraft

QCOSTARICA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA), released an updated registry of infections of COVID-19 on board commercial flights, revealing a low incidence...

Foreigners represent 14% of the patients treated for covid-19 in hospitals

QCOSTARICA - Of the 410,000 people with inquiries related to the new coronavirus at the medical centers of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

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.