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April 14th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) At least six slopes on the Caldera Highway, which connects San José to the country’s Pacific coast, pose risk of collapse or landslide, according to the most recent report of the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME) at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).
The study found that between kilometers 37 and 48, several of the hillside slopes covered with spray-on concrete that tower over passing motorists are damaged and could fail. Some 16,000 vehicles pass through the area each day.
“The potential release of concrete represents a danger to motorists. There are sections where conditions resulting from the type of soil and the height of the slope make them very susceptible to rain erosion,” the April 5th report said.
The Spanish firm which holds the concession for the highway, Globalvia (formerly known as Autopistas del Sol), says maintenance of the slopes are part of the firm’s regular maintenance activities.
Cracks in the concrete covering of the slopes have resulted in the installation of meshing to prevent against falling material. Areas of missing concrete show orange staining from rusting rebar in some sections.
A year ago the issue was warned of in another report.
Meanwhile, engineers have warned that the structure of some sections of the roadway itself are too weak to support many of the heavy tractor-trailer loads which pass the route daily.