$340 million loan signed to pay for many road jobs

The government signed a deal Monday to borrow $340 million from a development bank to make major improvements in roadways, including the construction of 3.8 kilometers as the first phase of the much-awaited Circunvalación Norte and overpasses at the congested traffic circles in the Circunvalación Sur.

The money also will go to improve the safety on Ruta 32, the San José-Limón highway that has been affected by dangerous slides.

The money also will go toward constructing an access road to the new container port in Moín and the construction of a new grain port in Caldera.

In fact, the projects that will be paid for by the loan are a wish list of motorists.

Included is the Chilamate-Vuelta Kooper highway that will give speedy travel across the northern zone.

The money is coming from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The amount in colons is 175 billion.
As part of the projects, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad will build tunnels and install anti-slide measures on Ruta 32. The highway also is called the Carretera Braulio Carrillo because it goes through that national park. The entire road was opened in 1987, but recently the high cliffs have begun to slide into the roadway, sometimes with tragic results. The highway already has the Zurqui Tunnel north of San José. Some 11,000 vehicles a day pass over this highway, according to the Consejo.

Also part of the plan is the construction of four lanes on the San Carlos highway and work on the Interamericana Norte.

The 3.8 kilometer stretch of the Circunvalación Norte will include a four-lane highway designed for 90 kilometers per hour. That’s about 56 miles per hour. The stretch will be from the Juan Pablo Segundo bridge in La Uruca to the Pozuelo intersection.

The entire project envisions a ring of a four-lane highway around the metro area. However, the new section will have a wide center island for future addition of two more lanes, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

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