Q COSTA RICA NEWS – Despite the comments made by the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (CONAVI) only a couple of days ago, that the Platina bridge – the bridge over the Virilla river on the autopista General Cañas – closures would only be on weekends, brace yourself for some heavy duty traffic headaches this Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, January 12 the Alajuela – San Jose lanes will be closed for four hours, from 9:00am. The same on Friday, January 13.
Thursday night, one lane of the San Jose – Alajuela side of the bridge will be closed starting at 10:00pm and re-open by 5:00am Friday morning.
The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – Ministry of Transport and Public Works – is recommending people use the train to reduce the number of vehicles and congestion.
Andres Muñoz, of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (CONAVI) – National Roads Council – says the closures are necessary to continue with the installation of the support for the new lanes that will form part of the bridge. When complete, the bridge will go from four lanes to six, that is from two to three lanes in each direction.
Last weekend, the Alajuela – San Jose lanes of bridge were closed Saturday morning and although the opening had been anticipated for Monday morning, by Sunday the bridge was completely open to traffic.
A couple of weeks ago, just before Christmas, the closure announced late in the afternoon and taking effect the next day, raised the ire of many. This time, the CONAVI feels that two days notice is plenty. We will see.
The bridge has been a thorn in the side of drivers since 2009. Several attempts to repair the bridge failed miserably. Hopefully, the latest work, coming in at a cost of US$14 million dollars, will be end once and for all the nightmare of that is known as the “platina”, by the end of February.
MOPT ninister Carlos Villalta has promised to resign if the work is not done by February 28 (2017). President Luis Guillermo Solis, who has made a number of personal inspection of the work progress, said he would accept his minister’s resignation. Villata is the third minister of the MOPT of the current administration.