The director of emergency response at Costa Rica’s Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT), David Meléndez, on Tuesday said a bridge washed out Monday at La Paz Waterfall near Vara Blanca, Alajuela, would be replaced by another Bailey bridge, this time at a higher elevation to avoid river surges and debris.
“We are working on the riverbed to set up equipment, and then will begin earth removal and leveling,” he said. “The [new bridge] is on its way to Vara Blanca, and transit to the community will be re-established in about 22 days.”
Meléndez said workers would also have to search the river to retrieve pieces of the old bridge, which was obliterated during a heavy rainstorm on Monday.
The new Bailey bridge will be the third bridge installed at the foot of La Paz Waterfall. In 2003, an historic 65-year-old wooden bridge collapsed under the weight of a poultry truck.
Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission on Tuesday issued a “green” (preventive) alert in the area due to the increase in rainfall, reporting that at least 28 houses in the area had been flooded or damaged, and 75 people were relocated. Potable water service is not available in about 90 area homes.
As of Tuesday evening, no residents were relocated to shelters, as most of the evacuated families are staying with relatives, the CNE stated.
Video courtesy of Public Security Ministry.