The bridge over the Río Virilla will be rebuilt for 4.5 billion colons, about $9 million.
This is the troubled span on the General Cañas Autopista that has been the subject of multiple attempts at repair. At one point officials said they thought they would have to build a new bridge.
The 53-year-old span will be reinforced to handle 40 tons. The current limit is 24.5 tons. Some 90,000 drivers use the bridge each day. It is one of the main connections between San Jose’s downtown and Juan Santamaría airport, Alajuela and points west.
The Japanese Agency for International Cooperation is providing technical advice on reinforcing the bridge.
The main problem with the current span is that it is too flexible and the concrete deck becomes broken by heavy traffic.
This is the so-called platina bridge because a metal plate over an expansion joint continually becomes loose. At first the situation was a joke because the bridge defied efforts to fix it. Then the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad set contractors to work over one holiday, and a motorist killed a highway employee. The problem lost its humorous aspects long ago.