Mystery bridge deck malady still puzzles road officials

Highway officials may be optimistic but they admit they have a serious problem with the newly renovated bridge over the Río Virilla on the Autopista General Cañas.

In just a few weeks the concrete is being reduced to dust and highway officials and contracts say they do not know why.

The concrete went down in and over a metal mesh. The metal is now exposed and the concrete is eroded inside the metal squares.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, the road agency, will close the bridge and the highway this weekend for repairs. They are expected to authorize another coat of concrete.

The danger exists that the entire bridge deck may contain faulty concrete, and it may continue to turn into pebbles and powder.

This is the infamous platina bridge where a metal covering on an expansion joint broke free nearly two years ago and defeated all efforts to keep it down. The bridge gets that name from the Spanish word for little plate.

A television commentator noted that Chinese contractors built the new national stadium in about the same length of time that the government has been trying to fix the bridge. Eventually the government decided to rip up the entire bridge deck and install the metal mesh and concrete.

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