San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

National Roadway Council to invest ₡16.5 billion more on border road

Costa Rica’s now-infamous northern border road, a 160-kilometer route parallel to the border with Nicaragua, will receive a new investment of ₡16.5 billion ($33 million) for 2013, José Luis Salas, executive director of the National Roadway Council (CONAVI), said on Tuesday.

Salas also said CONAVI initiated a public bidding process on Monday to select the company that will be in charge of the project going forward.

In May, investment in the road – prompted by emergency decree after Nicaragua and Costa Rica entered into a territorial conflict at Isla Calera, along the Río San Juan – was some ₡22 billion ($44 million). Officials said at the time that the cost of the project could increase, after a corruption scandal involving contractors and environmental damage surfaced.

A total of 34 private companies were involved in the road’s construction and currently are under investigation.

Former Public Works and Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez and CONAVI Regional Director Manuel Serrano were fired in May following the scandal, as well as other officials.

Contact L. Arias at

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