Ruta 32 loan of $395 million OK’d

The Asamblea Legislativa for the second and final time approved a plan to borrow $395 million from the People’s Republic of China to improve Ruta 32 from Limón to Río Frio, some 107 kilometers.

The approval was expected because the majority of lawmakers passed the bill on first reading Monday. The vote Wednesday was 46 to 6.

The money comes from the Chinese Import Export Bank, and a Chinese government company will do the work. The interest rate is 4 percent.

Costa Rica still has to enter into a formal agreement to build the highway. A plan for widening the highway is expected to be finished in about nine months. That there was no plan caused some lawmakers concern because without a plan the cost of the job cannot be determined adequately.

In addition to the highway widening, there are plans for a number of overpasses.

The job is considered vital for the nation’s road network because much of the freight from the docks in Limón and Moín travel on this road.

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