Sixaola border crossing will get two new bridges

The time might not be totally appropriate to talk about fixing up bridges that were not destroyed or damaged in the recent storm, but the transport ministry said Tuesday that it is ready to put in a new bridge at the Panamá border near Sixaola.

This is the one-lane, rickety bridge that even makes timid the very brave. The 103-year-old former rail bridge will be replaced with a 120-meter (384-foot) steel bailey bridge. The Government of Panamá is supposed to install a similar one-lane bridge thereby providing two-lane traffic at the border crossing.

The Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes said Costa Rica’s investment will be $1.5 million. The bridge is used frequently by tourists and border dwellers.

Eventually both governments will move to construct a permanent 260-meter (850-foot) concrete span up the Río Sixaola from the current location.

The ministry said that the new bailey bridge would be in place in late January. The ministry also said it would construct bridge access ramps and install concrete pillars so that the dual bridges could support vehicles of up to 40 tons.

The bailey bridges have been given the blessing of a decree that they are in the public interest, which helps getting permits to cut trees, extract gravel and do earth moving.

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