San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Public infrastructure

Public Works Minister pledges to open La Platina bridge next week

Public Works and Transport Minister Carlos Villalta said that vehicle passage on the six lanes of the bridge over the Virilla River, better known here as “La Platina” bridge, will reopen next week.

Villalta said in a public statement on Wednesday evening that ministry crews have finished their work on the expansion joints, the structures that ministry experts hope will fix the problem that gave the bridge its infamous nickname.

Workers are currently placing guardrails on the pedestrian lanes, placing some concrete layers and finishing other details on the bridge located on the General Cañas highway, the main route between the capital San José and the province of Alajuela.

Then they will move to the final stages consisting in setting up the illumination system and lane demarcation, and cleaning the structure and the road.

Weekend closure

Starting on Friday night crews, from the National Power and Light Company will begin installing utility poles and setting up the lighting system along the bridge.

This work will require the closure of one of the three lanes currently available, starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday and until the early hours of Saturday, Villalta said. MOPT crews then will begin painting traffic demarcation along the three new lanes, and on Sunday will complete the other three.

Finally, crews will proceed to clean the structure so that it can be ready for opening at the beginning of the week.

The administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís is the third, following those of former presidents Oscar Arias and Laura Chinchilla, to promise to fix and expand the bridge that handles some 90,000 cars daily.

Several failed attempts to fix the bridge since 2009 cost various public officials their posts.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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