(QCOSTARICA) Although re-opening of the Ruta 27 (San Jose – Caldera) had been expected this morning, Thursday, the road remains closed between Atenas and Orotina, as work crews continue to remove debris from yesterday’s landslide and authorities deem the slope safe.
The road concessionaire, Globalvia, says the closure will remain until further notice.
The Wednesday afternoon heavy rains caused a landslide at kilometre 45, dumping large amounts of rock, mud and debris onto the roadway.
The overnight rain did not help the situation, keeping crews and equipment at bay, only to resume their clean up efforts at day break this morning.
For travel to and from the Jaco, Quepos, Manuel Antonio and further south, the alternate is the Monte del Aguacate (Ruta 3) between Atenas and Orotina – this road is also known as the old road to Jaco.
Another alternative, but a much longer one, is by way of Cuidad Colon to Puriscal to Orotina. For the adventurous, there is a gravel road that runs from Puriscal to Esterillos, south of Jaco.
For Puntarenas and Guanacaste, the Cambronero or Interamericana (Ruta 1) is the best bet until the 27 is re-opened.
Keep in mind that all the alternate routes will most likely be congested.
The Ruta 27 is widely known for its landslides occurring in the rainy season.
Landslides have been a headache for drivers (and the road concessionaire) right from the start, experiencing a series of landslides within the first few months of opening in 2010, including a total shut down, again between Atenas and Orotina, to rebuild a section of road completely washed away.
On Wednesday the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales – LANAMME) reiterated its warnings of the instability of slopes in the 10 kilometres stretch of road between kilometres 38 and 48.
For the rest of the highway, it is clear and open.
What angers many users of the 27 is that the toll booths keep on charging tolls even when the road ahead is closed.
Wednesday afternoon a number of drivers vocally expressed their anger with Globalvia staff, of having to pay tolls at Atenas when the road ahead was closed. It took Globalvia some time to divert traffic at Atenas and Orotina.