Ten years after Route 27 was inaugurated, the Costa Rican highway is already in need of expansion.
The Costa Rican government on Wednesday signed a letter of understanding with Autopistas del Sol for a three-phase plan to amplify the highway, which connects San José to the Pacific province of Puntarenas.
“We continue to build trust through agreements that allow concrete works that are essential for the development of Costa Rica,” said Costa Rica’s President, Carlos Alvarado, at a signing ceremony.
Completed in 2010, the so-called Caldera Highway shaved hours off the trip to popular Pacific beach destinations like Jacó and Manuel Antonio. But its popularity contributed to rapid deterioration — not to mention heavy traffic on the highway, which has only one lane in each direction in many parts.
The three phases, if justified by further studies, will be constructed as follows:
- Phase 1: Comprises the area between the National Gymnasium and the Siquiares exchange and would include the construction of a new overpass to unload traffic at the highway’s terminus.
- Phase 2: Comprises two sections — between the Siquiares and Atenas, and between Orotina and Caldera. It would include expanding these sections to two lanes in each direction and the construction of new Río Grande and Jesús María bridges.
- Phase 3: Would expand the section between Atenas and Orotina to two lanes in each direction.
Costa Rican authorities are currently conducting traffic studies, which Casa Presidencial says will be completed by the end of February.
The government did not provide a timetable for when construction would occur.