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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Major Structural Issues Found on Costa Rica Bridges

A shocking new report from the University of Costa Rica’s highly respected engineering lab Lanamme has revealed severe deficiencies and safety risks affecting multiple bridges along the major Route 27 highway between San José and Caldera.

The comprehensive report, released on August 13th, scrutinized 43 bridges between 2021-2022. It distressingly found 9 bridges are deficient, 32 in average condition, 1 acceptable (local route in Hacienda Brasi), and 1 in an alarming state requiring imminent repairs.

Per Lanamme’s criteria, acceptable bridges have only minor issues while deficient ones have significant structural flaws. Alarmingly, the bridge over Salitral stream risks potential collapse without urgent fixes. High-traffic bridges at Escazú, Virilla River, Ciruelas River and National Route 23 were labeled deficient.

Equally concerning, 19 bridges, nearly half of those examined, lacked any prior inspection reports. Another 14 only had outdated 2010-2011 evaluations that did not utilize Lanamme’s latest assessment methodology.

Of the bridges examined between 2017-2020, a mere 3 showed improvements, while 3 deteriorated and 7 remained unchanged, highlighting serious oversight issues.

Overall, the report paints an alarming picture of maintenance negligence and lack of urgency by transportation officials charged with ensuring bridge safety. Lanamme relayed the troubling results to the government, yet only 17 bridges got response plans, displaying continued complacency.

With Costa Ricans dependent on these bridges daily for work and travel, such lapses are simply unjustifiable. Lanamme’s report provides a stark warning – the government must prioritize funding and urgent repairs to prevent an impending tragedy.

The safety of all citizens traversing these overlooked bridges must finally be made paramount. Costa Rica is known worldwide for pioneering sustainability – we must now become a model for preventative maintenance and infrastructure safety. There is no time to waste.

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