QCOSTARICA – The expansion to six lanes of the bridge over the Virilla river on the Autopista General Cañas will now cost an additional ¢763 million colones.
The approved by the Contraloria General de la Republica (CGR) – Comptroller’s office – the dream of a modern bridge will go from the original estimate of ¢2.19 billion colones to ¢2.95 billion.
The executive director of the Consejo Nacional de Viabilidad (Conavi) – national roads council, Mauricio Salom, says the difference in the amount is due to the 1960s structure needing additional changes than originally approved by the CGR.
The changes include a new anchor system of the braces holding the structure, among others.
Salom said the work can begin within 15 days of approval by the CGR, if and when there are no appeals.
The repair of “platina” bridgeas it is commonly referred to has been a seven-year and ¢10 billion colones headache for the Ministry of Transport (MOPT).
Several repair attempts have been made during the last seven years, each one failing to correct the problems of the old structure that began when a 10cm (4 inch) gap in one of the deck expansions was detected back in August 2008.
Following failed repair attempts in 2008, 2009 and 2013, costing hundreds of millions of colones in each attempt, in the middle of the 2014 work the MOPT decided to halt all efforts to work on a design and financing for a six lane bridge.