The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) pledged on Friday to dedicate $33 million to the reconstruction or repair of 29 bridges along the northern portion of the Inter-American highway in Costa Rica. Most of the bridges in need of repair were built between 1944 and 1952.
A portion of the highway was re-opened on Saturday after being closed two days due to reconstruction of a damaged bridge above the Río Seco, in Puntarenas province near the Central Pacific coast.
On Wednesday night, the river destroyed about 25 meters of the bridge. It was swollen due to heavy rains.
The closing of the highway hindered transportation to and from the northwestern Guanacaste region, as well as travel north and south along Central America’s most important roadway. Detour times were clocked at nearly five hours, as drivers had to take a winding mountain road between San Ramón and Tilarán, in the northwestern province of Alajuela.
The repairs to the bridge cost MOPT an estimated ¢50 million ($97,000). MOPT estimates that 400 trucks, 130 buses and around 4,000 cars travel the Inter-American Highway every day.