President proposes shakeup of road agency and public works ministry

The executive branch sent to the legislature Tuesday a series of bills that would revamp the  Consejo Nacional de Vialidad and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The Consejo handles the roads and is part of the ministry.

President Laura Chinchilla also announced that a companion bill would make expropriating property for highways easier. Another bill is designed to give road builders access to gravel and other material in emergencies similar to the access that municipalities now have.

Casa Presidencial said that the proposals would improve the nation’s system of roadways.

The proposals have been in the works for 10 months, officials said.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas has been a burden for President Chinchilla. Employees there have been accused of wrong doing regarding the efforts to construct a highway on the south shore of the Río San Juan.

The projects, designed to counter Nicaragua’s intentions in the area, were contracted as an emergency.

The work was badly done and resulted in Nicaragua claiming that the runoff was damaging the river.

Eventually the contractors were removed and the ministry is to finish the job.

There also have been complaints that many projects are far behind schedule.

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