Dump trucks demolish key bridge

Tourism operators in the La Fortuna area and in the rest of  the northern zone are expecting to feel the impact of a bridge collapse at the Río Cataratas on Ruta 702.

This is a popular route connecting the Lake Arenal region with San Ramón.

Highway officials are suggesting that motorists take Ruta 141 that goes through Naranjo, Zarcero and Ciudad Quesada or via Tilarán on the west shore of Lake Arenal.

The bridge is expected to be out about 15 days, and highway officials said they would try to install another of those modular bailey bridges.

It was a temporary bailey bridge that failed, one of about 100 in use in the country. The temporary bridge has been erected over the Río Cataratas for at least five years.

Drivers of two dump trucks loaded with asphalt, each weighing around 30 tons, tried to cross the bridge at the same time. The bridge was rated for about 30 tons maximum. The structure collapsed in the center, but both vehicles remained on the twisted steel skeleton.

Work crews were at the site quickly, but progress stalled as they tried to get the heavy trucks off the battered bridge.

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