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San José Closes Busy Avenue for Improvements

February 19, 2010

The heavier-than-usual traffic in downtown San José earlier this week might not clear up anytime soon because part of a busy cross-town street is closed.

The Municipality of San José closed five blocks of Avenida 8 on Monday as construction began on a roadway renovation project anticipated to last up to four months.

Partnering with concrete manufacturer CEMEX, the municipality closed the westbound Avenida 8 from Calle Central to Calle 10, a stretch of five blocks south of Central Park in San José. The total investment in the project is estimated at over ¢156 million ($281,000).

“The Municipality of San José predicts that the new road will have a lifespan of 40 years instead of the eight years that asphalt would last,” said San José Mayor Johnny Araya at the inauguration of the project Monday morning.

Araya and Carlos González, director of CEMEX for Costa Rica, agreed that a reconstruction of the worn stretch of Avenida 8 is necessary to ensure improved travel across the 500-meter stretch.

González said that CEMEX will reconstruct the roadway with slabs of high-resistance concrete.

“We are going to fully meet the requirements … control and verification of the quality of the concrete, in order to guarantee Costa Ricans a satisfactory result,” González said.

Though the proposed benefits of the improved roadway are due to arrive in four months, several restaurants and businesses along Avenida 8 fear that the construction will significantly disrupt customer traffic. Carlos Cordero, director of commercial planning for CEMEX, addressed these concerns.

“The municipality has … warned the businesses about the effects of the construction, and the companies have prepared for this lapse in service,” Cordero told The Tico Times. “In order to make progress, sometimes there must be a setback in order to move forward. In the end, all will benefit from the improvements in the new road.”

According to the municipality, the alternate routes for drivers and pedestrians traveling east to west in the construction areas should take Avenidas 6 and 12. Drivers and pedestrians heading north to south should take Calles 12, 4 and 0.

–Adam Williams

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