The Virilla Bridge, odiously referred to by drivers as the “La Platina Bridge,” on the General Cañas highway will (finally) open a fourth lane to traffic, the Public Works and Transportation Ministry (MOPT) announced earlier this week. Only three lanes have been in service since construction began on Dec. 26, causing heavy traffic and delays between San José and Alajuela province. Vice Minister of Infrastructure María Lorena López said that the most critical stages of construction work are finished, according to the statement.
With the upcoming school year beginning on Feb. 10, López expressed optimism that four operable lanes would not affect students’ commute to and from classes. Soares da Costa, the Portuguese construction company that was awarded a contract for the work by MOPT, is reinforcing the structure with concrete-coated steel grids, which will also repair the gap between the bridge spans. The construction is expected to last three to five more weeks.
La Platina Bridge earned its nickname after an epic display of ineptitude by Transport Ministry workers forced multiple lane and bridge closings and caused chaos on the highway in 2009.