Presidents meet at Río Sixaola and promise a new bridge

President Laura Chinchilla met with Panama’s president, Ricardo Martinelli, Friday at the new, temporary bridge over the Río Sixaola. They said that they would seek money for a permanent bridge from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The estimated cost will be about $30 million, said Casa Presidencial.

Anyone who has traveled by land south into Panamá along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast knows about the Sixaola rail bridge. It was built in 1908 and later became a bridge for vehicles and pedestrians. It is single-lane. The rail bridge will be converted into a pedestrian walkway, said transport officials.

The new bridge is another of those bailey structures. This one is 244 meters long, about 800 feet. Costa Rica put up $1.2 million for its share of the work. The total cost is $2.3 million.

The press in Panamá has been critical of Martinelli because there was no bidding on this contract.

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