Transport ministry fails to plan ahead

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Today’s article should have mentioned that the current bridge project to build a new bridge with six travel lanes under the current bridge is inconsistent with the transport ministry’s plans for the Autopista General Cañas to have four travel lanes each way from San José to the airport.

The construction underway to expand the Puente Platina from four to six lanes is just one more demonstration of the myopic planning department of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. The ministry needs to realize that every location where multiple travel lanes reduce in number creates an obstruction to traffic flow in the travel lane that continues, as drivers in the ending travel lane fail to yield the right-of-way to vehicles in the continuing lane, causing them to stop.

This situation occurs repeatedly on Ruta 27 along its entire length from San José to Caldera, and in many locations along the Inter-American Highway (Ruta 1) from San José at least as far as Grecia, including where three lanes reduce to two at the bridge over the Río Virilla (Puente Platina), where two lanes reduce to one passing the airport and again a kilometer west over a two-lane bridge, and many other locations further west where lanes reduce from two to one, often because the ministry has failed to widen a culvert or small bridge as additional travel lanes have been built to accommodate increased traffic.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes has to be the most inept government institution in the country, and the most inept highway department in the Americas.

Loren B. Ford
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