Bridge work generates major highway bottleneck

The traffic was light in the Central Valley Monday but not at the construction site at the bridge over the Río Tiribi on the Autopista General Cañas.

To add insult to injury, traffic police were ticketing motorists who used the traffic lane restricted to buses. Police said they issued about 70 tickets.

The slowdown was caused by work to remove the center concrete barrier for several hundred meters on either side of the bridge. Traffic in each direction was reduced to one lane.

The Autopista General Canãs is considered the main route from Juan Santamaría airport to the city center.

The bridge is the one made famous by the expansion joint that would not stay fixed. Highway officials have been wrestling with the joint for more than a year. The plan now is to redo the entire bridge, install more steel and repave it.

In the meantime, traffic will have to find another route. Traffic officials suggest using the Autopista del Sol to reach San Antonio de Belén, which has access to the airport and the highway west of the bridge. There also is a route to the north through Heredia that also happens to be under construction.

Work started Sunday and is expected to last at least two months.

The highway likely will see much more traffic when the Christmas holidays are over.

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