Construction chamber seeks takeover of road agency

The Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción is urging a government shakeup of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad because the agency has not done what it has promised and has suffered a loss of confidence.

The chamber issued a statement Wednesday.

The chamber said that the Consejo, which is in charge of road work, was behind on important projects.

The average time from the beginning to the end of a project should not be seven or eight years, said  Gonzalo Delgado, chamber president. He based his estimate on an analysis of statistics of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes of which the Consejo is a part.

He was critical of the complexities of the documentation in the bidding process that, he said, cause unnecessary delays and setbacks.

He pointed to some infamous projects, including the so-called platina bridge on the General Cañas autopista where workers just cannot make pieces of metal lay down. He also mentioned the so-called trocha, the roadway along the Río San Juan at the country’s northern border that has turned into a major scandal for the Laura Chinchilla administration.

The chamber president also said the beginning of construction on the route from Vuelta de Kopper to Bajos de Chilamate is behind. That is a roadway across the northern part of the country linking the northern zone with the Caribbean coast.

Delgado said that the money has been in the country from various international agencies for two years and that the central government is accruing interest on the funds.

The chamber represents firms that would be involved in road construction. Not much is expected to come from the chamber complaints because the Chinchilla administration leaves office next May.

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