Q COSTA RICA / As is common in Costa Rica where structures get a name although the work is not completed, the ‘platina’ bridge is no exception: despite the reconstruction work is still in progress, the structure has a name, the Alfredo Gonzalez Flores bridge.
On Tuesday morning, President Luis Guillermo Solis asked the Nomenclature Commission to approve the name for the bridge over the Virilla river, connecting the provinces of San Jose and Heredia, in commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the birth of the former president.
Alfredo Gonzalez Flores, born in Heredia on June 15, 1877, served as President of Costa Rica from 1914 to 1917, unable to complete his presidential mandate following a coup d’état on 27 January 1917, led by Federico Tinoco, his secretary for War and the Navy.
Praising the former president, Solis said “the bridge work on the General Cañas is as large as the work González Flores achieved during his tenure.”
During his administration, González Flores founded the Normal School of Heredia and opened the first State bank, the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (now the Banco Nacional), with the ability to issue currency, at a time when banks refused to facilitate credit to the Executive Branch. From that moment the State competed with private financial institutions.
Gonzalez Flores also created the Agricultural Credit Board, which led to a resurgence of economic, commercial and industrial activity in the country. And he established the system of direct taxation and the Charity Tax Law.
González Flores was considered an authority in financial matters and a precursor of modern democracy. He was declared a national hero on 23 July 1954. He died in Heredia on 28 December 1962.
Solis also talked about the importance of the ‘platina’ bridge.
“The bridge connects the centre of the country with the main airports and seas ports and with the main agricultural production areas,” said the President.
The ‘platina’ bridge has been a major headache for transport officials and users for almost a decade. Following a number of failed attempts at repairing the aging structure and government neglect for many years before that, the Solis administration made th decision for the construction of a new and wider bridge.
When completed, sometime by the middle of March, the bridge will be six lanes.