A bridge reestablishing transit on Route 36 near Penshurst, Limón, isn’t expected to be ready until Wednesday, authorities now say.
The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) initially predicted the Bailey bridge would be ready Monday.
“We visited the bridge on Route 36 over the La Estrella River, Limón, damaged by the rains. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport estimates that the passage through this route will be rehabilitated by Wednesday through the modular bridge,” President Carlos Alvarado wrote on social media.
Route 36 is the primary route connecting the south Caribbean with the rest of Costa Rica. The towns of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Bribri and Sixaola all rely on the road.
There is an alternate route through La Guaria, Valle La Estrella, but it is not recommended for vehicles without four-wheel drive. Reports from the area indicate that pedestrians have been allowed to cross the damaged bridge over Route 36.
The MEPE bus company is offering service from from Limón to the Penshurt bridge. From there, riders cross the bridge on foot and take another bus to the South Caribbean.
President Alvarado said authorities are coordinating with the fire department to supply fuel to Sixaola, Talamanca and Hone Creek. Efforts are also being made to restore water and electricity to the area.
Other damage in the Talamanca area includes a destroyed school building and railroad bridge. (Both are pictured below.)
“We sympathize with the Limonense population, everything that has happened is very painful,” President Alvarado said.
Across Costa Rica, more than 3,200 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters due to effects of the weekend’s flooding.
The cantons of Turrialba, Matina, Limón, Talamanca, Sarapiquí, San Carlos, Upala and Guatuso remain under a Red Alert, as they were the most heavily impacted by the ex