Anyone who travels Costa Rica roads at night knows that many sections have washed out or obliterated lines.
The job of keeping the lines visible is that of the Dirección de Ingeniería de Tránsito. But the public employees do not really do the work. Instead the job falls to contractors.
For example, the transport ministry just spent 134 million colons, some $240,000, to mark the asphalt on 46 kilometers of Ruta 34, the Costanera Sur, between Barú and Damas. The job also included some 403 vertical signs.
In addition to a double yellow center line, the job includes various arrows and the typical painted instructions found on highways.
This time the ministry and its Consejo Nacional de Vialidad ordered the installation of 11,000 of what are called captaluces along the center line and sidelines of the stretch of the highway. These are the little reflectors that appear to last much longer than the painted lines.
Last year, the agency did the same thing on a highway stretch from Pozón to Esterillos. Next month the same work is supposed to be done on Rutas 150 and 160 from Nicoya to Puerto Carrillo.
The lack of adequate lines in the road is one reason visitors are encouraged to refrain from driving at night. Traffic on the Central Valley’s heavily traveled roads, like the Circunvalación, seem to obliterate lines as soon as they can be painted.
The southern bypass round still has several traffic circles, and the lack of lines makes driving difficult.