San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Public infrastructure

Public Transportation Minister: 'Platina Bridge a failure'

Public Transportation Minister Francisco Jiménez admitted in a press conference Wednesday all the work that has been done to repair the “Platina Bridge” over the Virilla River, on the General Cañas highway, has been useless.

“The result is not what we expected, nor what we planned for,” Jiménez said. “It is evident that it was a failure.”

The announcement came one day prior to the Association of Engineers and Architects’ coming to the same conclusion.

The study showed that the pavement placed over the iron support structure failed because the concrete did not meet standards that would allow the 50-year-old bridge to resist the 80,000 cars and trucks that take this route every day. The road connects San José to the international airport and to the province of Alajuela.

María Ramírez, in charge of bridges at MOPT, lost her job Wednesday after failing to solve the problem despite $3.8 million in repairs spent earlier this year. She said the needed repairs were handed to Autopistas del Valle in a concession six years ago. The company since failed to gather up the investment needed to start the works.

The ministry’s new plan is the construction of a four-lane project along the same path, parallel to the current bridge. It should be completed in two years at the cost of $15 million.

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