• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Six Additional Bridges Close – Or Collapse

November 13, 2009

In one way or another, a total of six bridges have closed since the Oct. 22 collapse of an aged suspension bridge near Orotina, on the central Pacific. Five people were killed in the accident.

Whether through fear of a repeat tragedy, recommendations from engineers, strong river currents weakening bridge supports or the impact of a 95-ton crane crossing a 35-ton capacity bridge, four government-owned bridges and two municipal bridges have been put out of action.

“Some bridges have already closed, and more may follow as engineers assess their safety,” said Marco Vargas, newly-appointed minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT).

Six days after the Orotina bridge collapse, the Municipality of Santo Domingo de Heredia, fearing a similar accident, used boulders to block the hammock-style bridge that connects the Santo Tomás district with the town of Socorro.

A week later, within hours of replacing Karla González as MOPT minister on Nov. 4 and employing the same reasoning as the Santa Domingo municipality, Marco Vargas reserved for pedestrian use only two hammock-style bridges in Grano de Oro de Turrialba, on the Caribbean slope, and in San Jerónimo de Esparza, a town near the Pacific port of Puntarenas.

The bridge that spans the Río Rincón, in southwest Costa Rica’s OsaPeninsula, collapsed on Nov. 6 after a crane weighing nearly three times as much as the bridge’s maximum weight capacity tried to cross.

Although no one was hurt in the incident, access to most of the peninsula was restricted to air or sea for several days. Strong river currents caused by heavy rainfall resulted in the weakening of two bridges’ structures and their eventual collapse on Nov. 9. One bridge was in Nandayure on the NicoyaPeninsula and the other in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela, north of San José.

Finally, a day later, the Municipality of Escazú closed a 100-year-old bridge above the Río Puente on the advice of its infrastructure and works office, which deemed the bridge to be unsafe.

–Sean O’Hare and Mike McDonald

 

You may be interested

Slothy Sunday: End your February with a sloth
Sloth Sundays
2536 views
Sloth Sundays
2536 views

Slothy Sunday: End your February with a sloth

The Tico Times - February 28, 2021

Happy Slothy Sunday from Costa Rica! We hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, and the end of February…

How can I immigrate to Costa Rica?
Business
71 views
Business
71 views

How can I immigrate to Costa Rica?

Lic. Jorge Montero B. - February 28, 2021

Back in September 2016, when we lived in a completely different social environment, not yet affected by the global pandemic,…

Central America begins ban to protect lobster
Fishing
1707 views
Fishing
1707 views

Central America begins ban to protect lobster

AFP and The Tico Times - February 27, 2021

Countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic on Monday will begin a ban to protect the Caribbean spiny lobster…