San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican roads, bridges to get over $1 billion for development

The Inter-American Development Bank is lending Costa Rica $850 million to rebuild roads and bridges now in a significant state of disrepair.

Costa Rica has promised to match the loan from the regional bank, with a $200 million investment in infrastructure.

The loan is the biggest the bank has ever given to Costa Rica, and the third biggest that the bank has granted to any country for transportation in the last eight years. Only Brazil and Argentina received more, said Fernando Quevedo, the bank´s representative here.

The money will go toward building 60 bridges along the Inter-American Highway and expanding to a third lane along part of the highway between San Ramón in Alajuela, northwest of San José, and Barranca, on the Pacific coast, said Karla González, Public Works and Transport Minister.

The ministry also intends to spruce up a highway that runs between the southern towns of San Vito and Ciudad Neily, and a highway from Bribrí to Limón along the Caribbean coast.

Sidewalks, bridges and bicycle paths will receive $50 million, González said. Some $30 million will go toward modernizing roads, bridges and intersections to promote public transportation in the Central Valley.

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