Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Comptroller’s Decisión Delays Highway Project

February 11, 2005

A plan to widen the 68-kilometerstretch of highway from San José westto San Ramón received a blow last weekwhen the Comptroller General’s Officereturned the project’s contract to theNational Concessions Council (CNC)without its requisite stamp of approval.The comptroller returned the contractwith 60 requests for clarification before itcan be approved.The project is expected to reduce traveltime between the two cities by 45 minutesduring rush hour.CNC executive director Rocío Aguilarsaid the comptroller’s issues will take twoweeks to clarify and require no modificationto the contract between the governmentand the firm Autopistas del ValleS.A.“We don’t think it will be a torturousroad,” she said, adding that the contract,signed Oct. 1, 2004, should be approvedby March.Autopistas del Valle S.A., a consortiummade up of Spanish firms FCC andSacyr, Portuguese firm Soaraes Da Costaand Costa Rican firm M&S, will thenhave one year to finalize the design andfinancing of the road improvements.The improvements entail expandingthe General Cañas Highway from LaSabana Park to Juan SantamaríaInternational Airport to six lanes andexpanding the road between the airport tothe so-called Manolos intersection to fourlanes.After the design is finalized,Autopistas del Valle will have 25 monthsfor construction, making completion apossibility by 2008, Aguilar said.The same consortium may also makeanother long-awaited concession a reality,she said.In November, Covisa, a consortium ofCanadian firms, backed out of its concessionto build a road linking the westernsuburb of Ciudad Colón and the Pacific slopetown of Orotina, for faster access tothe central Pacific coast. The projectincludes other highway improvements,ultimately creating a direct link betweenSan José and the Pacific Port of Caldera,a plan three decades in the making (TT,Jan. 23, 2004).Autopistas del Valle told theConcessions Council last week theywant to pick up where Covisa left off.The council will now spend the nextthree months evaluating the possibilitiesof Autopistas taking over the SanJosé-Caldera contract. However, possibilityof making the dream a reality isstill many years away, Aguilar emphasized.Covisa backed out of the contract sayingthe land expropriations required bythe government for the project were movingtoo slow.The speed of expropriations along theSan José-San Ramón road was one of thecomptroller’s concerns in the recent rejection.Aguilar said a timeline is defined inthe contract.The comptroller also questioned whyAutopistas del Valle immediately startsreceiving funds from the highway’s tollsonce the contract enters into effect,rather than after the improvements aremade.Aguilar explained the company willimmediately begin maintaining the highway.Toll rates will remain the sameuntil after the improvements are made,she said.

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30
Costa Rica
5587 views
Costa Rica
5587 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 30, 2020

Costa Rica announced 24 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 904, according to official data…

Some 34 million jobs lost in Latin America due to pandemic
Business
3341 views
Business
3341 views

Some 34 million jobs lost in Latin America due to pandemic

Carlos MANDUJANO / AFP - September 30, 2020

The two aspirers for the presidency of Costa Rica, the evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado and the former minister Carlos Alvarado, reach the closing of the electoral campaign for April 1st with a technical draw, according to a poll disclosed this Friday.

CureVac launches second stage of vaccine clinical trials in Peru and Panama
News
21363 views
News
21363 views

CureVac launches second stage of vaccine clinical trials in Peru and Panama

AFP - September 30, 2020

The German pharmaceutical company CureVac announced that it has started Phase 2 clinical trials of its experimental vaccine against Covid-19,…