Traffic to be diverted while workers fix metal bridge strip

The transport ministry will outline in detail plans today for repair of the balky expansion joint on the Autopista General Cañas.

The joint is covered by a metal strip that just will not stay in place. Contractors have been working at the site off and on for more than a year trying to fix the problem.

The loose metal causes drivers to slow down, and traffic jams result. There are strips on the three westbound and three eastbound lanes on the bridge over the Río Virilla. The gap covered by the metal is about 25 centimeters or 10 inches.

Although the details are being given today, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes already has said that traffic will be detoured off and on from the key highway. This is the route travelers take from San José to Juan Santamaría airport.
Detours include taking secondary roads through Heredia to the north or traveling via the new Autopista del Sol and then doubling back to the Autopista General Cañas.

The bouncing piece of metal has attained the status of a running joke. It is called la patina in Spanish. One Costa Rican put a dubbed film segment of Adolph Hitler on a social network. The Führer becomes enraged at the status of the metal plate and his generals cower.

Equally creative was the camera work done by El Diario Extra in conjunction with agents for models.

The newspaper photographed and published the scantily clad women pretending to do construction work on the bridge joint. They wore hard hats, work boots, orange vests and tiny shorts. There was a much bigger traffic jam the day of that photo shoot.

The ministry thinks that repairs will take two months. The project is expected to begin after Christmas.

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