Contract Appeals Delay Road Improvements

March 3, 2006

President Abel Pacheco’s dream of leaving office having reversed the deplorable condition of Costa Rican roads was put on hold this week.

Twenty-two contracts to improve and maintain 4,500 kilometers of national roadways have been appealed before the Comptroller General’s Office, the daily Al Día reported. Two builders have appealed the process by which the three-year contracts were awarded to seven construction companies.

In January, Pacheco championed the contracts as a way to improve the country’s pothole filled roads, many of which have not seen regular maintenance for years (TT, Jan. 27). The companies are expected to fill potholes, repave roads and rehabilitate bridges with an initial investment of $36 million and possibly as much as $100 million.

Work was expected to begin this month, but the appeals have delayed the process for several weeks, Al Día reported. Before the contracts go into effect, they must be approved by the Comptroller’s Office.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Randall Quirós told the daily the appeals will delay the process for weeks and will “certainly” be denied.

 

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