The Costa Rican Geotechnical Association (ACG) explained that Route 32 is in a critical state. This is due to the lack of work, such as surface and subway drainage and slope stabilization.
According to the Association, the condition of the road represents a danger for road users.
The Association elucidated that a 25 km stretch between the Zurquí Tunnel and Río Sucio has a high risk of landslides or collapses.
Specifically, the road has 30 landslides, 10 of which are “very large” and 20 “medium.” The most vulnerable stretch of the road crosses the Braulio Carrillo National Park, which poses a legal obstacle to construction work.
Sergio Sáenz, an engineer, explained the problems at the II Seminar on Slope and Mountain Road Repair and Restoration organized by the Costa Rican Geotechnical Association (ACG).
“We have reached an extremely critical point concerning this road. It is urgent to act on the matter because we live in a very rainy country. If the necessary measures are not taken, we will continue to suffer with the road closures with the negative impact that this generates in the transportation of people and export products to the Port of Limón,” said Sergio Saenz.
The rains and the lack of attention to road infrastructure problems have led to severe current issues.
The president of ACG, Adrian Fernández, pointed out that in addition to Route 32, the roads in the country most exposed to landslides are Route 1, Route 2, Route 27, Route 10 and Route 209.
He also mentioned that the country must develop a culture of prevention to avoid accidents and fatalities.
“As a country, we have the human resources and the necessary technology to build much safer highways for those who travel on these roads. In addition, this type of work will save us resources in the long term. In this field, it is better to develop a culture of prevention”, emphasized Fernández.
Road maintenance is also critical. However, in previous years infrastructure wasn’t properly cared for, leading to its collapse. Experts agree that the current road infrastructure crisis could have been avoided with proper preventive and maintenance work; therefore, the deplorable state they are in is no surprise.