Experts say road collapses preventable

The country is not condemned to have roads falling away and other disasters caused by landslides, according to soil scientists.

The Asociación Costarricense de la Ciencia del Suelo puts the blame on lack of planning for the repeated collapses of highways. The problem not only is the soil, they say, but the failure to control water.

The country has seen two major collapses on main highways in the metro area and the current one at Kilometer 37 of the Interamericana Sur. Such roadway incidents cost millions for producers, truckers and average motorists.

The association will be hosting a gathering of soil experts March 16 to 20. An announcement said that the country could save millions by proper use of the soil.

In the case of the Interamericana Sur, for example, workmen trying to repair the road found a thick layer of clay underneath the roadbed. That material encourages slides, and may be the reason why one lane fell far downhill.

More than 200 experts from much of the hemisphere will be at the gathering, which will be in the Hotel Barcelo San José Palacio and later at the Barceló Playa Tambor.

Floria Bertsch and Renato Jiménez, president and vice president of the Costa Rican association, said that the country should create a national policy to make better use of natural resources and to avoid collapses and the poor design of roadway drainage.puriscal022515

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