The Works on the North Pan-American Highway Cañas-Liberia Have Begun
• Investment amounts 48,200 million colones.
• Project is key to tourism and economy of Guanacaste.
By signing the contract with the company in charge of the construction, the Government has now given the starting signal for one of the key works for national economy: expanding the road stretch from Cañas to Liberia. This is the first stretch of the North Pan American Highway required to complete the Mesoamerican corridor, encourage tourism in Guanacaste, and increase competitiveness as to the transportation of products.
"The project Cañas-Liberia is the first major work that is funded by the credit line of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It is a project of great importance as it will modernize the Pan American Highway and make it suitable for freight traffic in the region and other latitudes. For us, it is important to formalize this project, which is the first of many," said Luis Liberman, Vice President of the Republic.
Francisco J. Jiménez, Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) commented that this section is a key link in the conformation of the Pacific Corridor of Costa Rica, which is part of the main logistics corridor for transport and trade integration of Mesoamerica (from Mexico to Panama).
In 2009, the IDB conducted a study that showed that the most efficient way to modernize the Mesoamerican road system is through the Pacific Corridor. This corridor links Mexico with Panama through 3.244 kilometers, across seven countries, carries 95% of traded goods in the region and is the shortest route with less than average height over the sea level (From the official site of Project Mesoamerica).
Maria Lorena López, Vice Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), mentioned that "this stretch of 50.6 km represents the beginning of a very productive stage of investment on infrastructure funded by IDB loan, which amounts a total of $300 million. This money is going to be devoted in an emblematic road due to its historical and current impact on the Costa Rican economy. "
Signing of Contract
The Government signed the contract with Consortium FCC, to which the construction of the project was credited after competing with 11 companies.
The National Roads Authority (CONAVI), based on the IDB requirements, awarded the project to be built in hydraulic concrete pavement for a total of ₵48,200 million, within a 2-year term.
According to MOPT-CONAVI, they were able to complete all the pre-bid process in 101 days. According to IDB, on average, Latin American countries take 610 days for this process.
In addition, the project has all the environmental viability permits, the National Convenience declaration, and the forest inventory.
This project includes the construction and expansion of 50.6 km of road in the North Pan American highway, which will include safety components such as bike paths and sidewalks.
In August last year, eleven domestic and international consortia submitted bids for the construction of this stretch on both asphalt and concrete.
The project is a supplement to the Construction of Cañas-Liberia Highway, which will have four lanes. It also includes overpasses and 18 new bridges. Sixteen bridges will be repaired.
The total investment will be funded with $154 million (about ₡ 77 billion) that will be part of the first tract of IDB’s $300 million loan.