Contractor picked for $6.3 million Circunvalación bridge job

The nation’s road agency has picked a contractor to provide a final solution to the collapse of the Circunvalación between Pavas and Hatillo.

The 3.2 billion-colon job is expected to be done in six months. That is about $6.3  million.

Preliminary plans call for two concrete bridges, each of three lanes. The contractor is Codocsa/Productos de Concreto, and much of the material for the bridges will be built of concrete offsite, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The company will spend about 15 weeks designing and installing the underpinnings of the structures. Meanwhile, motorists will be using the reinstalled bailey bridges. That phase is expected to begin Nov. 16.

The contractor is expected to replace one temporary bridge and than another with traffic routed two ways on the first completed bridge. The bridges are supposed to be 75 meters each, some 246 feet. Each bridge will contain traffic lanes 36 feet wide.

The contractor was one of five bidders on the job, the ministry said, adding that it was the only one that complied with all the requirements.

The washout site is between Hatillo 8 and the Pavas turnoff. The Río María Aguilar has eroded the soil below the highway.

The Circunvalación is a bypass route south of the San José city center. The road agency, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, closed down westbound lanes of the Circunvalación Aug. 27 when it became obvious that the river was undermining the road. Workers hurried to erect four temporary bailey bridges to handle traffic. But the bridges also became undermined.

The central government closed the highway in mid-September because of the failure of the temporary bridges. Workmen then began erecting steel walls and pouring more concrete to host the temporary bridges, which are not yet in place.

Closing the major four-lane highway was an economic blow to the country with traffic snarled during much of the day, lost deliveries and employees tied up for hours in bumper-to-bumper jams.

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