More delays on autopista, but Ruta 32 has been reopened

The good news is that specialists finished their work Tuesday on Ruta Nacional 32 and the vital highway will not be closed this morning as planned.

Meanwhile, the highway ministry said that the stretch of the Autopista del Sol between Atenas and Orotina will be closed for at least three more days.

The work on Ruta 32 was to develop a three-dimensional representation of the shelf road that winds through Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo. The highway has been the scene of many slides, in part because the cliffs above the two-lane road are so steep. Officials are working to reduce the danger. The highway is the main connector between the Central Valley and province of Limón. The highway is used heavily by trucks headed to the docks in Limón with produce and other loads for export.

The work on the autopista del Sol is more straight forward. Heavy rains washed out a section of the road, and the concession holder of the highway is putting in two bailey bridges to span the gap. One is 48 meters (157 feet) and the other is 60 meters 197 feet). The longer outside span carries traffic eastward.
The outside span still is not stable, and workers will have to install three more pilings to carry the load of the bridge, said the Consejo Nacional de Concessions.

The inside span has been tested with heavy trucks and declared safe.

The location is at Kilometer 47 of the highway. Traffic is being detoured around the problem area.

The concession holder also reported that workers have completed more work to protect motorists from landslides. Some retaining walls were repaired, too.

The company also has presented to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes a long-term plan to keep the road in safe condition.

The ministry said that the road might remain closed longer than three days if it appears that there still are safety issues.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported that once the bridge work is completed, no tolls will be collected at the Orotina plaza until the company is able to fix the highway permanently and remove the bailey bridges. The bridges are government property.

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