The Comptroller General’s Office cleared the way May 19 for 22 road-maintenance contracts for seven construction companies. The decision will allow for the repair of potholes on 4,500 kilometers of paved roadways over the next three years, according to the daily La Nación.
The roadways to be repaired include the stretches from Guápiles to Limón, on the Caribbean slope; Abangares to Liberia in Guanacaste; and Naranjo to San Carlos, in the Northern Zone.
The contracts for the roads had been paralyzed by appeals from two construction companies, Sánchez Carvajal and Hernán Solís, who were not chosen for contracts by the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) in January and alleged irregularities in the contract process. The comptroller’s May 19 decision rejected those appeals, allowing CONAVI to proceed with the contracts.
Public Works and Transport Minister Karla González told La Nación she hopes to have the Comptroller’s final approval for the contracts within a month and begin fixing potholes in July.
One problem remains: funding. The maintenance to return the roads to an acceptable state would cost at least ¢15 billion ($29.7 million), according to González, far above the ¢7 billion (approximately $13.9 million) available to the Roadway Council. The council plans to negotiate with the Finance Ministry to increase its budget, she said.