Costa Rican officials hope to begin design work on a new Sixaola bridge later this year after the project works its way through the mandatory approval process.
The government announced Friday that México has agreed to provide $10 million to build the proposed four-lane bridge that will take motor traffic off the former railroad bridge that is in use today.
Costa Rica will put up $5 million for the job. The bridge will link the southernmost part of Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast with Panamá. The new span will replace a one-lane bailey bridge that was inaugurated in 2012.
Most of the foot and motor traffic still moves on the former railway bridge that was built in 1908.
The initial studies, design and supervision of the project will be handled by a U.N. agency, the Office for Project Services.
Officials said that the estimated time for all the studies and construction is about 28 months.
The current bailey bridge is 244 meters (800 feet) long.
That was a $5 million job shared by both Costa Rica and Panamá. But the new bridge has been closed repeatedly.
Once done, the new bridge will speed up contact between Costa Rica and Panamá. The bridge also will give northern Panamá easy access to the new container handling facilities that is being built in Moín.