QCOSTARICA — The newly expanded Limonal-Cañas section of the Interamericana Norte (Ruta 1) already shows signs of premature deterioration.
This, regardless of the fact that the expansion of that highway was officially inaugurated just six months ago, according to the Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales (Lanamme) de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) – National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models of the University of Costa Rica.
On the other hand, evidence of poor construction practices has been identified, according to specialists from the university.
“Problems have been detected in the resistance of the concrete, breaches in the stabilized base samples and in the asphalt mix samples,” according to a public report.
The expansion consisted of the rehabilitation and expansion of this segment on Ruta 1, going from two to four lanes – two ways in each direction.
The construction of this concrete highway, which extends over 21 kilometers, was carried out by the Spanish company Azvi and had a cost that exceeded US$90 million.
This section of the highway plays a fundamental role in tourism and international trade, being the main route that connects the Central Valley with the North Pacific region of Costa Rica.
Currently, the extension of the Limonal – Barranca (Puntarenas) stretch of the Ruta 1 is being constructed, with completion anticipated in 2026. When finished, traveling between Barranca (Puntarenas) and Liberia (Guanacaste) on the Ruta 1, at the posted speeds, should be under two hours, rather than the three-plus hours it typically takes (not including extra time due to construction-related traffic).