San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Public infrastructure

Legislative commision OKs loan to finance expansion of highway to Limón

All but one member of the Legislative Assembly’s Financial Affairs Commission vote in favor of a bill to expand a highway to Limón. The vote took place at 8 p.m. on Thursday in San José.

(Courtesy of Legislative Assembly)

The Legislative Assembly’s Financial Affairs Commission on Thursday evening moved forward a bill authorizing a $465 million loan to finance the expansion of a 107-kilometer stretch of highway connecting the capital to the Caribbean province of Limón.

Nine lawmakers approved the bill after a series of obstacles including a protest by local residents who on Wednesday hurled insults at Citizen Action Party (PAC) lawmaker Manrique Oviedo, who they blame for delaying the bill. In the end, only PAC legislator Jeannette Ruiz voted against the measure.

Leading up to the commission vote, Oviedo had submitted a long list of motions against the project, claiming the loan amount was overvalued by $165 million.

Before passing the bill, the commission asked the Public Works and Transport Ministry for a second evaluation of the project by ​​Mexican consulting firm Cal y Mayor.

Lawmakers also ordered the company granted the project, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), to hire at least 600 employees from the province of Limón. The project’s original proposal stated that all workers would come from China.

Commission members also said that if the bill passes the full Assembly, it must be approved by the Comptroller General’s Office before becoming law.

In the event of a dispute with the company or the government of China, all legal issues would be resolved under the laws of Costa Rica and not under China’s, as established by a previous draft.

The commission’s approval is only the first step for the loan package. In order for it to become a law, it must be voted on twice by the full Assembly and signed into law by the president.

Contact L. Arias at

Log in to comment

Robert Boyce

The road would be built by a chinese company because the chinese would be funding this 100%

The same thing happened in Atlantic City, NJ at the Revel Entertainment Casino when work came to a stop for 1 year for lack of funding. After exhausting many avenues for the $1.5 billion needed to complete the work, the chinese were brought in to work a deal to finance the rest of the project….with strings attached.

All supervision was going to be chinese. All finishes i.e.: millwork, cabinetry, and fixtures were all going to be made in China. Thus cutting thousands of jobs from american households. Where is the sustainability in the local economy when these kinds of deals are made?

At the end of the day the people who live and work in Atlantic City, with the help of local politicians, sent the chinese back with their tails between their legs! The job was eventually finished with local tradesman and supervision and the casino went into bankruptcy a year later. The good old fashioned american way. But a better alternative.

I don’t like what the Chinese did with Estadio Nacional. That should never happen in any country. Be very careful Costa Rica. The chinese are a wolf in sheeps clothing. Dsputes in Costa Rca settled as per chinese law?

Costa Rica. There are better friends out there. You need to find them. The rest of the world should shun China.

0 0
George Lemmon

What’s the road in question? Connecting the city of Limon with San Jose via Guapiles or Turrialba? And why a Chinese company? Aren’t there a ton of CR companies that build roads? And what about the claim by the PAC diputado that the price is too high? Any credence to that, or is he just being outvoted by Liberacion diputados (again)? Same with asking a Mexican firm to assess the cost… nobody local who actually knows local costs and the issues associated with the terrain in question who could do that perhaps more accurately? Is this another San Ramon fiasco? 600 Limon workers out of how many total? Why Chinese workers at all? Is this the National Stadium all over again? Where is the funding coming from? The Chinese one assumes, suggesting that this was a non-competitive procurement. What is the actual price to CR?

0 0

You build 1 KM of road for 1 million dollars thats and average in Canada and USA and wages are much higher in both countries. How about ask Canada they build some great roads.

0 0

Next time there is vote in Congress watch for the protest against this project.

0 0

600 hundred works on 400 million dollar project are you joking. This is going to be a mess. I am a so shamed with this project is going this way. Congress no guts to do the right thing. 8.3% unemployment in Costa Rica i hope you know that this project could have cut that percentage in half. PLN you put this country more in debt thanks again. Please stop sell Costa Rica for pennies. I will protest this project when the protest start. You think Ukranie is crazy wait till the poor in Costa Rica stand up. FEB 25 i will be there to protest with the workers

0 0