allow Conavi to fix infrastructure issues
A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad is
apparently not allowed to repair or replace
minor problems on Costa Rican roads as
immediately or efficiently as it would like.
The Ley 7798 that created Conavi in the
first place is undergoing some reforms
within the Costa Rican legislature. One of
the those reforms would be to allow the
institution to invest in construction or
repair projects of a smaller scale such as
crack and seal or pothole filling.
According to a statement from the Ministerio
de Obras Públicas y Transportes, the reforms
have been approved in its first debate by
Under the current legal system, the
development of these kind of rapid
interventions is complicated as it is not
technically considered to fall under
Conavi’s boundaries of “road conservation,”
said Mario Durán, the deputy minister of
Reformas y Proyectos.
|In addition to this, if
resources are invested on credit or other
alternative source of funding, it requires
a long process to justify such an
Durán emphasized that the rapid
interventions often don’t pass the test
despite the punctual and positive impact
“Among these minor works that can be
executed, from the legal reform, are the
construction of bus bays, the improvement of
crossings, the widening of roads to include
a turn lane, and the repair of any signs or
infrastructure damaged during a traffic
accident among others,” Conavi said in a
The bill seeks to reform the Conavi law to
modify the definition of road conservation
to specifically include these types of
In the interest of saving money as well as
the bill, however, it also works to limit
the percentage of funds that can be used for
these types of renovations.
de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
are worried that many bridges may
collapse like the Sixaola bridge,
pictured here, if left alone.
calling bridges a national emergency
A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Colegio Federado de Arquitectos e
Ingenieros has proposed to declare the poor
condition of the bridges of Costa Rica as a
national emergency, a measure that would
allow access to a national emergency fund
and thus, make immediate repairs.
"Most of them have already completed their
cycle," said Olman Vargas, tthe Colegio's
"These are bridges that need to be
rehabilitated or repaired, since that is
where the socioeconomic development of the
Although the country does not have an
accurate record of its number of bridges,
experts say that around 1,200 existing
structures lack maintenance works or
to the Colegio, 85 percent of the structures
are in poor or very poor condition.
Vargas said they have already requested the
declaration of emergency, but the government
commission in charge explained that these
funds can only be used once the emergency
has already happened.
In the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y
Transportes, authorities have recognized
that intervention in these structures
represents a great debt from the government.
This is likely a debt that cannot be paid
given the government’s current crisis of
trying to figure out how to fund itself let
along any future development works.
They said in the coming weeks that
they will make urgent inspections of
six bridges will take place.