October 18th, 2012 – Yesterday, a 1.2 meter diameter hole opened up in the bridge that crosses “La Fuente de la Hispanidad” (in front of the San Pedro Mall), in San Pedro. The hole took drivers by surprise as the bridge had just recently been through repairs. This is the main bridge that crosses the rotunda below, in front of the mall, and is an important transit route.
Christian Vargas, chief of Bridge and Road Conservation at CONAVI (National Road Council), said that a sheet of steel would be placed over the hole so that the bridge could continue to function.
Vargas blamed the age of the structure, and despite the fact that some repairs have been made on the bridge, there is “a slab that has encountered problems, these are 30-year-old bridges…The exact same situation has occurred on the opposite bridge…there was a sudden and complete fracture of the slab, a failure that took us by surprise, even though there had been repairs done on the site previously,” he said.
Vargas added that the sheet of steel over the hole is a temporary measure, and it will take at least two weeks to have a definite solution to the hole. According to Vargas, the permanent solution will involve concrete, additives, and other materials that will be applied, “this weekend if it is feasible, otherwise it will be next weekend so as to not interrupt traffic. We will be working on a definite repair, as we have done in other places,” he assured.
Asked about the previous repairs, Vargas said that they had applied some concrete and a batch of asphalt on top, which was supposed to be a temporary measure until a better solution was found, however, it “did not give us (enough) time,” he said.