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Deteriorated Bridges Costly for Costa Rica

Article Summary:

In Costa Rica poor infrastructure is stifling production. The poor condition of the nation’s bridges in which over 80% of exports pass is disastrous and is seriously affecting the country’s productivity.

Photo Credit: PR Web

Original Article Text From El Financiero CR via Google Translate:

Bridges Undermine Production

Years of neglect and backwardness are stacked on the 1330 bridges the national road network. That shakes the foundations business.

For these old structures are mobilized for 80% of production to the ports where the rugged ends and no easy road adventure of Costa Rican exports.

Those harmed by poor road infrastructure are the entrepreneurs and the workforce, with economic losses paid neglect of the authorities.

That evidence played against and beats the resilience of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and the National Roads Authority, non BUDGET and without the necessary personnel to address the structures.

Thus, it is almost impossible to tell which bridges are worse. Yet there is a ranking of priority structures in the three major regions for export share: the Central, the Huetar North Atlantic and Huertar.

Bridges to the Uncertainty
The central region is the largest contributor to exports goblales. During 2011 the region exported $ 7.894 million.

There, National Route 1 is ridden zones. According to the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer), the provinces of Heredia and Alajuela are home to 64% of the country’s free zones.

The companies installed there are the soul of Costa Rican production engine.

There are born for 52.4% of exports, about $ 4,470 million for the third quarter 2011.

Despite the strength of the area, has several bridges that undermine the entrepreneurial spirit to any investor, many of them already exceeded or are about to end their life.

For visible deterioration and even scandalous, the bridge over the river Virilla, “board” in the collective hatred, it is vital for the country’s most industrialized area.

According Conavi, passing around about 100,000 vehicles per day, which carry most of the more than 58,000 workers in companies established under this regime.

But that does not translate into important improvements to the structure visible.

Is uncountable loss of time due to constant failures in the slab of the bridge has a close relation to exports.

During the current year, companies in the industrial park located in Heredia and Alajuela have mobilized air, by the Juan Santamaria International Airport, close to $ 2,800 million in exports.

The figure invites logic. The General Cañas should have a bridge over the Virilla to facilitate the export activity.

But be until next year that Conavi make another attempt to overcome the perennial problem of the plate.

Jose Luis Salas, director of the state agency, reported that there is already a plan to rehabilitate the bridge over the Virilla. The investment would be about $ 7 million, but is still on paper.

Nearby, in Coyol of Alajuela, high tech companies and industrialization not stop their clamor for road infrastructure that suits the commercial growth of the site.

The bridge that is used most often dating back 35 years and is 4 meters wide, sufficient to allow transfer of more agile than 5,000 vehicles daily passing through the area and that, in rush hour, must wait between 15 minutes and an hour to cross to the industral park, which was chosen by companies that manufacture high technology medical equipment as its hub.

This sector has grown exponentially in recent years.

According Procomer, the medical and precision equipment exported $ 1,251 million in 2011, while last September sales were recorded at $ 1.105 million.

The Coyol is now home to companies such as HB Fuller, St. Jude Medical and Durman Esquivel.

Business investment in the area exceeds $ 200 million.

Conavi settled there a bridge bailey -one of the 80 that are currently in operation, but still not measure up to the demands of the companies.

No Mercy??
Accumulating 75% of foreign sales, Central Region becomes heart of GDP.

But the numbers collide with the poor state and neglect that have their major roads and bridges.

This is the case of John Paul II, with damage to its concrete structure, the overpass on the roundabout of the Hispanic in Montes de Oca, a slab weakened, the flyover at the junction of the Firestone tire company and the bridges over Virilla river up to Santo Domingo de Heredia and La Uruca.

If one of them collapsed, the country would be incommunicado, warned Segnini Monica, president of the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco).

“For the export sector the state of the road network is a key factor to reduce transportation costs. It is essential for a country that has focused its growth strategy on access to global markets, “he said.

Chirripó: a mountain of problems
Second in the ranking of exports, Huerta Atlantic Region exported $ 1,189 million in agricultural goods in 2011.

However, beyond the critical state of the bridges, the most important, on the river Chirripó.

Jorge Sauma, general manager of the National Banana Corporation (Corbana), said the bridge passed by 97% of Costa Rica banana exports and between 85 and 90% of the total burden of the country.

During 2011, the banana industry exported $ 778 million. In September, sales exceeded $ 531 million in containers that must pass through a bridge whose foundations are undermined by the river that has dragged sediments, fact that has not helped at all to the structure.

The third region is the most exported North Huetar, weighing from $ 550 million in the trade balance of 2011.

In Rio Sucio, lose all
Later that year the pineapple sector located in the region experienced anguish and losses of $ 2.5 million when he had to enfrenar increased freight costs, which rose as fast as they dragged untamed waters during a storm, the ancient Dirty River Bridge in Sarapiqui, Heredia.

Companies had to choose longer routes to get their production up limonenses ports.

The solution? It was not permanent. The authorities decided to put another bridge bailey to enable producers to make their farms about 400,000 boxes of pineapple, a total of 1.7 million tons per year, all land mobilized.

Although brought relief, a bailey can be seen as neglect of a sector, so far in 2012, has exported $ 587 million, 6.8% of total foreign sales ($ 8,530 million) recorded through the third quarter.

But the worst is that the state of anxiety about new flooding still persists, as Abel Chaves, president of the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (Canapep).

The company spokesman said that the route Ticabán-Las Marias, only alternative in case of collapse of the structure on the Rio Sucio, there, up to the district of Zapote and The Alamo, three bridges rudimentary whose structures are reduced to mere stumps wood.

They are not much, if you take into account the weight of the region exporter with its diversity of agricultural products.

The weight of time and state neglect and broken slabs distort the bases of the bridges, while in offices delGobierno solutions are left to the Greek calends.

Structures of the concern
According LANAMME, observe these bridges latent threats:

Dirty River: The metal structure collapsed during the earthquake of September 5, 2012.

Canyon: Has 5 cm offset between its sections, vibrations notorious and steel structure with signs of fatigue.

Virilla (“board”): The bearing surface is demoronó. It requires a comprehensive approach to its substructure.

John Paul II: the slab has cracked, peeling and deterioration of concrete at their bases, presents deformations.

Plums: In poor condition due to erosion of soil under approach slab of the west access. Poor drainage system.

Intersection “Firestone” Overpass cracks and potholes in the asphalt layer and its lower height is insufficient.

Rio Grande: Its wooden planks rotted, yet they placed asphalt layer that is cracking. In critical condition.

Castella: The bailey bridge can not cope with the amount of traffic. It is urgent to build a permanent solution.

Virilla Sto. Sunday: corroding in structure, accelerated deterioration of their surface conditions, fatigue heavy traffic.

Térraba: Met life structure damaged by flooding of the river, a problem in your deck and cracked surface.

Link to Original Article:

From El Financiero CR

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