Interamericana Norte finally opened to light traffic and buses

A taxi gingerly transverses the damaged area. Consejo de Vialidad photo

The road agency reported that it was opening the Interamericana Norte at Cambronero to passenger vehicles and public transport.

The route is not pretty, but vehicles can pass by it for the first time in a week. Work will continue today, said the Consejo de Vialidad.

Meanwhile, a low pressure area is moving west into Costa Rica, but forecasters do not see it as much of a threat. The forecast for today calls for a return to the usual pattern of hot mornings, perhaps with some light showers on the Caribbean coast and the norther zone with possible downpours in the afternoon for the Pacific, the Central Valley and the northern zone as well as the mountains of the Caribbean coast.

That is good news for highway workers, who managed to open up all but eight routes Wednesday.

The road agency said that the problem at Cambronero near San Ramón was water infiltrating the soil under the highway. That caused the highway to collapse.

Meanwhile, the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social said it had spent 125 million colons through Wednesday helping some 500 families. That is about $245,000. Most of the aid went to provide the basic necessities for those who had been flooded out of their homes.

Most were in Guanacaste or in the Golfito area. Others will need help as they return to their soaked homes.

In Escazú Wednesday officials were considering the problems caused by a tragic landslide last year. This was the slide that killed residents along Calle Latas as a result of Hurricane Tomas. The location is in San Antonio de Escazú.

The municipality and various aid agencies said they would begin construction of homes for some 54 families at the beginning of the year. The public project will be getting help from private firms, officials said. The homes will be ready by the start of 2013, officials said.

Tomas, hurricane and tropical storm No. 19, formed Oct. 29 and never touched Central America, but its effects destroyed hundreds of miles of roads in Costa Rica and caused major landslides, including the one that killed the 21 persons in San Antonio de Escazú.

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