Costa Rica: Investment for US$ 4,600 Million in Road Works Will Reactivate the Economy

    US$ 350 million of available IDB loans will be invested on roads

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    Abelardo Canelo
    I am not only a fluent Spanish-English reader/speaker but also a bi-cultural person who has a broad solid background. I also have a passionate interest in different expressions of music, especially many American styles and their combinations (Folk-Country, Jazz, Pop, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Soul, and so on), dance, stage and screen, and some other forms of artistic expression.

    In the closing of the Economic Reactivation Week, the Government of Costa Rica detailed an aggressive road infrastructure investment plan for US$ 4,600 million, covering large un-postponable works and cantonal road projects throughout the national territory.

    Costa Rica’s roadmap

    Additionally, the Government announced the strengthening and expansion of the works model by concession with an investment of ₡ 5,000 million, which includes the reinforcement of the National Council of Concessions (CNC).

    The initiatives, which are part of the Comprehensive Plan of Actions for Economic Reactivation, were presented this Thursday at a press conference by President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the Ministers of Public Works and Transportation, Rodolfo Méndez Mata, of Coordination with the Private Sector, André Garnier Kruse, and the Coordinator of the Economic Team, Edna Camacho Mejía, who leads the strategy.

    “These projects will be financed with existing resources of credits without executing and with the public-private partnership scheme, so they will not generate pressure on public finances. In the case of CNC, these are resources from the 2019 national budget that were obtained by reducing sub-executions of other state institutions”, said Minister Camacho.

    President Carlos Alvarado gave recognition to Minister Méndez Mata for the work carried out to finalize this series of works, “It is no coincidence that the minister who built the Circunvalación will be the one who will end up the Circunvalación Norte. Don Rodolfo is a manager of major infrastructure transformations”.

    “This is a great challenge for the Costa Rican State and a great opportunity for the country to confirm that things can be done, that we are still capable of carrying out great works as we did in the past, that it does not take 30 years to make a project that we can do in just 4. The policy defines the development strategy, but the technique constructs the works”, reflected Minister Méndez Mata.

    In the activity, the signing of a loan for US$ 150 million with the IDB, previously approved, was announced for the execution of more than 100 projects in 70 cantons. Throughout that week, Minister Camacho Mejía presented, together with the hierarchies, the actions corresponding to Simplification of procedures, Support for SMEs and entrepreneurship and Employability, as part of the Economic Reactivation and Employment Generation Plan.

    Reassignment of funds

    To advance the execution of major works, the Executive Branch will send a bill to the Legislative Assembly to reassign US$ 350 million of an umbrella loan with the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), Minister Méndez Mata said.

    The destination of this investment will allow the injection of resources to the following infrastructure works:

    • US$ 50 million for the San José-San Ramón route.
    • US$ 50 million for the San José-Cartago route (Cruce la Lima).
    • US$ 50 million for the San José-Limón route.
    • US$ 200 million for the San Carlos highway.

    Works for urban mobility

    Among others, Minister Méndez Mata mentioned Circunvalación Norte (US$ 203.6 million), and the construction of the overpasses in Garantías Sociales, the La Bandera traffic circle and a new one at the Guadalupe junction, each with an estimated investment of US$ 21.9 million. These works will conclude in 2020.

    Construction of a traffic circle

    Additionally, the expansion of the Virilla bridge will be carried out -at the height of the Saprissa stadium- with an estimated cost of US$ 22.4 million.

    All these projects with funds from the BCIE, such as the new Santa Ana Radial bridge (US$ 8.5 million) and the Santa Ana Radial expansion for US$ 8.5 million, with funds from Conavi. At the same time, the works related to the first stage of the sectoring and modernization of public transport -bus modality- in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), are executed.

    Minister Garnier commented that “investment in infrastructure is a central factor in the economic and social development of each nation, since it enhances the efficiency of private investment in the economy, facilitates the efficient functioning of markets, and supports the balanced growth of its different regions”.

    In the framework of the strengthening of the concession works model, Minister Méndez, for his part, highlighted the extension of the National Route 27 San José-Caldera with an estimated investment of US$ 450 million, with a source of private investment.

    Also, in a public-private partnership, the San José-San Ramón highways (US$ 650 million from the Trust with the BCR); the previous San José-San Ramón works (US$ 90 million, of which US$ 50 million from the IDB and US$ 40 million from Conavi); San José-Cartago (US$ 400 million private investment), San José-Río Frío (US$ 500 million, private source) and feasibility study for the San José-Río Frío highway (US$ 3.5 million, IDB).

    A highway in Costa Rica

    Other projects

    Other projects correspond to an estimated investment of US$ 450 million, with IDB funds: The expansion and rehabilitation of the Interamericana Norte (US$ 337.4 million) stand out; the expansion of Angostura (US$ 8.9 million); and a paved road between Paquera and Playa Naranjo (US$ 33.1 million).

    For the strengthening of the cantonal works, more than 100 projects will be financed in 70 cantons, through the 2nd track of the cantonal IDB program for US$ 150 million, which was signed precisely this Thursday at the Presidential House.

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