(QCOSTARICA) It was 9:45pm Thursday when the Ruta 27, the San Jose – Caldera, was re-opened to vehicular traffic after being closed since 3:00pm Wednesday.
Roy Barrantes of the Management Unit and Evaluation of Road Network of the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Unidad de Gestión y Evaluación de la Red Vial del Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales – LANAMME) said that landslides may be more common during this rainy season.
According to the expert, the steepness of the slope, the vibration of the vehicles and the rains are the main cause. In addition, a condition called “acid drainage”, weakens the rocks and increases the risk of falling material onto the road surface.
According to the LANAMME, travel between kilometres 14 and 50 of the Ruta 27 is the riskiest.
On Thursday, the National Concessions Council (Consejo Nacional de Concesiones – CNC) said Globalvia (the road concessionaire) must present a plan to fix the slopes and reduce the risk of landslides.
Carol Cordero, Globalvia communications adviser, told La Nacion that the company will not address the issue “because they are focused on re-opening the road.”
While traffic will be moving through the area of kilometre 45, authorities are keeping a close eye on the situation and may shut down passage if the risk increases or there is another landslide.
Despite the restriction of free movement of traffic, collecting the tolls between Atenas and Orotina continue.
Chapter eight, article 8.1, calls for a temporary suspension of the tolls in the event of a “force majeure”. The CNC could also, for reason of public interest, suspend the collection of tolls, however, in such case it would be liable to compensate the concessionaire.
Since the landslide Wednesday, Globalvia has given no explanation of the cause and an ultimate solution.
The Ruta 27 has been the scene of a number of landslides and road closures, on one occasion the closure lasting more than one month, since it opened in 2010.