“La Trocha” to see 10 new bridges for $6 million over next 90 days

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April 15th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) The controversial border road between Costa Rica and Nicaragua which has become known as “La Trocha,” (officially, Route 1856) will see the construction of ten bridges over the next 90 days, at a cost of nearly $6 million USD.

 

The work is due to be completed within 90 days, and includes the construction of six modular bridges and four concrete beam bridges.

 

Vienna-based Waagner-Biro and regional construction firm, Constructora Meco, will carry out construction of the modular bridges.  The bridges will cross the Isla Chica, Cureña, Cureñita and Tambor rivers and the Trinidad and Quebrada Barbudo canals.

 

Local construction firm Hernán Solís will build the four concrete beam bridges, which will span the Tamboricot and Copalchi rivers and the La Ceiba and El Cedro streams.

 

Route 1856 has been the source of controversy for some time as a result of corruption scandals linked to the project, and has plagued the administration of President Laura Chinchilla, who has called the road a “development project.”

 

Several officials were arrested in December 2012 over alleged “irregularities” related to the project.

 

The route was constructed as a territorial dispute erupted between Costa Rica and Nicaragua over Calero Island, after Nicaragua stationed a dispatch of soldiers there.

 

The route has also been a source of tension between the neighboring countries.  Nicaragua described the road as an “environmental nightmare” at a hearing before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in November of last year.

 

Nicaragua believes that the construction of the 130-kilometer road has caused erosion and sedimentation in the Rio San Juan, which acts as a natural border between the two countries.

 

Costa Rica denies Nicaragua’s claims, and claims the road is a work of importance for the economic and social development of its northern territory, and does not affect the flow of the river.

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    • mhogan

      Money well spent, I’m sure. Gotta protect the road investment.

    • roberto

      Where is the $6 million coming from? What about the $32 million and all of the protected timber that was stolen 2 years ago?

    • expatin paradise

      Ten bridges in 90 days? If this can be done in a remote area, why does it take longer than that to build a simple, short bridge in the central Valley? I’ll believe the time projection 90 days from now, if the work is complete.

      The concrete bridge contract went to the Hernan Solis company? Isn’t this the same company that was supposed to maintain the Tempisque River bridge that failed last year and that put up Bailey bridges that failed on the Circunvalación?

    • Frank Castle

      Is the plan to pave this road in the future? If they do it or not, whoever planned this didn’t do too good of a job. Just looking at it, it appears too close to the Rio San Juan. The buffer between the river and the road should be wider.

    • Ken Morris

      Less than a month to go before she resettles in Canada, and Chinchilla wants to burn through more money the government doesn’t have. The road was a bad idea to start with, it was never engineered correctly even if it was a good idea, and the sooner officials admit this and cut the losses the better. I gather though that Chinchilla can’t bear to leave with the embarrassment this apparent, so wants to spend public money to try to disguise her shame.

      • mhogan

        So Chinchilla is going to Canada! Wonder how many long-john winters she’ll go through before she starts begging for global warming!

      • disgusted

        Ken , LMAO on the “.. disguise her shame..”". She thinks she has done a wonderful job and made comments she holds her head up high.. How do you know she is going to Canada??

        • Ken Morris

          I actually don’t know for sure she’s moving to Canada, and were I a journalist rather than just posting a comment I would have to verify this.

          One of my Tico barroom buddies, who so far has been a reliable source of information, told me a couple weeks ago that her husband and son are already resettled in Canada (where her husband at least is a naturalized citizen) waiting for her to join them when her term expires. A check with someone else who should know resulted in the story that she’s looking for an academic appointment in Canada, which puts a nicer spin on what amounts to the same thing.

          More speculatively, I’ve concluded that were in her shoes I’d consider getting out of the country too, at least for the sake of her son. I doubt that she’s actively hated by many Ticos, but she’s not liked by the majority. Watching her lately, it also seemed to me that she was looking abroad for jobs, like the one she got as head of the group of Latin American countries. Not least, let’s face it, having been president of a country is a pretty good line on a resume, at least if she gets out of CR. Here she probably couldn’t be hired as night clerk in a convenience store, but abroad she could probably land a cushy job as distinguished professor of Latin American politics. It just makes sense to me that she would leave, at least for awhile.

          Yes, I’m pretty sure she believes that she has done a good job as president, and maybe in ways has. She’s thrown a lot of money at the cops, and crime seems to have come down a little. This was her main campaign pledge and she made good on it. I think her greatest accomplishment may be the daycare centers she started. Odds are there are other triumphs that I can’t think of now.

          With regard to her failures, I would imagine that she blames others. Her most glaring failure was tax reform, but I’m sure she can fault others for blocking that (and Solís will have to tackle it now). So far I have seen no credible evidence that she has been personally corrupt, so I would imagine that she blames those under her who were for this tarnishing of her reputation. With respect to Nicaragua, I’m sure she still blames Ortega (along with corrupt Tico underlings).

          And who knows who is right here? Arias was so disgusted after his second term that he called for an overhaul of the constitution. Maybe being president of CR is a thankless job.

          However, I am concerned when presidents leave the country. It seems to me that if they were genuine patriots they would remain. When they leave, they send a strong signal to the rest of the country that even political leaders view the country as a career stepping stone to something better. If the presidents themselves view CR this way, why would anyone expect ordinary Ticos to commit to the country by paying their taxes, volunteering for public service, and all the rest that make for a strong society?

          Chinchilla is probably personally better off leaving. The country though is better off if she stays. I predict she’s outta here.

          • roberto

            Will she be leaving on a private jet?

            With only two weeks left in their mandate, the legislative
            Committee on Revenue and Public
            Expenditure has just closed the investigation into Presidenta
            Laura Chinchilla and other public officials use of a private jet
            allegedly linked to drug trafficking.

            The closing of the investigation also removes any
            liability those responsible for the planning of the trip, who have said
            all along they acted in “good faith”. This was not the first time
            Chinchilla had used the plane, at no cost to her or
            the state. Travelling with Chinchilla were her husband, José Marís Rico
            and Francisco Chacón, his wife Foreign Trade Minister Anabel Gonzalez
            Pacheco.

            • Ken Morris

              I don’t worry much about the private jet, since I think that kind of thing is small potatoes and par for the course. I’m not surprised that everyone has been cleared.

              However, a side note that interests me is that fellow private jet passenger, Trade Minister Anabel Gonzalez, has apparently taken a job with the World Bank. I never liked her, since to my mind she was just a cheerleader free trade ideology and even misrepresented the facts, but I guess it’s fitting that she also gets out of Dodge with a promotion to the World Bank, where she can do even more damage.

              Welcome to the world as it is, not how we wish it was.

      • Ben

        Where did it say she going to Canada?

        • Ken Morris

          Well, I said it, based upon what I have heard, as described below.

      • mhogan

        Business News America reports that the outgoing Chinchilla administration spent more than any CR government since 1991. Exact figures are probably obscured in some report somewhere.

        • Ken Morris

          Interesting. I know she blew a wad (unnecessary imo) on the uproar against Nicaragua and another big wad on cops. This latter hasn’t been reported well, imo, but she not only hired new cops and bought them a fleet of fancy SUVs but also bought 14,000 new 9 mm pistols (so no desk cop has to have a lousy old revolver) while ceremonially destroying thousands of guns in a pacifist sidewhow rather than selling them. It was a great time to be in the public security business. Probably though the payment that tipped the scales was the $32 million to get out of the road deal with the Brazil company (while the settlement with the Canadian mining company awaits).

          My guess is that she faults the failure of tax reform for all this. In her mind, the expenditures were probably all justified, and the failure was the legislature’s for not giving her the money.

    • Bob Furlong

      Ha Ha Ha LMAO

    • Ben

      Her husband taught in Canada he is not Canadian. Laura will be eatin alive by media in Canada. Her husband taught at Mcgill in Montreal and was not much of a teacher. Canada does not like ex politician coming to Canada to live. I know this?

      • Lav

        He holds Canadian citizenship.

    • roberto

      Remember the grand announcement in December that the Belen-Sta. Ana radial would be increased to 5 lanes? Well…………………….

      Fearing that the investment won’t be finalized or in the change of government, employers
      and neighbors in Lindora have not deposited their donations to the trust to
      finance part of the expansion Santa Ana- Belen to 5 lanes, is not finalized.

      This
      project includes the expansion to five lanes in this sector and bridges
      that are along the more than 2 kilometers of track . This requires an agreement between the Association of Real Estate
      Development Council ( private contributions ) and the Government.

      The
      private contribution would be $ 2 million and will be used for the
      relocation of utility services and expansion of the road. The Government would provide $ 34 million for the expansion of
      bridges, financed by own funds of the National Roads Authority ( Conavi )
      and a loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration
      (BCIE ) by $ 9.5 million .

      Initially
      the work would start in January, but until last week just beginning to
      mark the points where electricity poles would be relocated . This is because as acknowledged by the director of Codi , Monica Navarro , private funds have not yet been collected .

      • Frank Castle

        This post has nothing to do with this article.