Costa Rican and Panamá highway officials finally have a timetable for putting a temporary bridge over the Río Sixaola at the national border.
The work is supposed to start in October with the bridge completed by December. This is a $3.2 million job. The bridge will be 245 meters (804 feet) and 15 meters (49 feet) higher than the existing bridge that is in bad shape.
Officials from both countries met Thursday to plan the project.
The idea of a joint operation between the two nations to replace the ancient bridge had been announced. But the project has been reduced from two bridges to one one-lane bridge. Costa Rica was supposed to provide a temporary bridge and Panamá was to do the same. Now both nations will share the job of building the pillars for the temporary bridge, which will be a bailey type that bolts together.
A permanent bridge is estimated to cost about $20 million.
Costa Rica is out of bailey bridges because several were used during the last rainy season. However, more are on order, officials said.
Replacing the existing bridge is seen as a boon for tourism and commerce.