Getting in or out of Cartago takes up to 40 minutes longer for jobs in Taras and La Lima

The lane closures and regulations resulting from the construction works of the Taras and La Lima interchanges, cause mileage blockades and delays which, at peak times, add up to 40 minutes to the journey time made by thousands of passengers. motorists.

The main concern of the Carthaginians or those who go there daily is that their ordeal could last a long time, since the progress of the works is minimal and it is estimated that the works, with months of delay, will be completed within two year.

Edwin Villalobos, who works as a taxi driver in this province, said, for example, that the previous Saturday it had taken 45 minutes to travel a distance of less than 4 km between the facilities of the oil refinery in Costa Rica ( Recope) and the center of Taras.

In addition, the carrier pointed out, the alternative routes available are limited, since the routes suitable for all types of vehicles are those that pass through Coris to Patarrá de Desamparados or the Llano Grande route.

Meanwhile, Óscar Calderón, who is a commercial agent and visits Cartago every day, described the situation as “impossible”.

“We spend too much time there, it’s barbaric, we waste too much time, it’s morning, afternoon and night; it is difficult to use alternative routes, Coris does not work for people who go to San José and Llano Grande, let alone,” he commented.


Traffic Police Operations Manager, Jimmy Salazar, assured that despite the fact that the resource at the regional headquarters is limited, they are taking measures to try to ensure smooth traffic. Among these are regulations at intersections to prevent cars from getting stuck in what they call a “drawer”.

“These are things we have to have patience with; I know it is sometimes difficult to be in a traffic jam. The traffic police, with their limited resources, will provide regulations to reduce the impact generated by construction in the area,” he explained.

According to the official, the main problem is at the intersection where vehicles going from San José to Cartago on Route 2 converge with those leaving the province, both on this route and on the Taras route, since there are has closed lanes.

Since September 12, The nation consulted with the Implementation Unit for this project through the press office of the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOPT) on the traffic management plans implemented by the contractor, as well as on the status of the progress of the work and the extensions granted by the compensable days; However, nearly a month later, there has been no response.

The construction of the two interchanges of three and four levels was entrusted to the consortium formed by the companies H Solís and La Estrella for an amount of 57.9 million dollars; resources from a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

This contractor maintained the work stoppage between April and June alleging delays in payment of invoices by MOPT.

In June, the resumption of work was announced. According to the Deputy Minister of Public Works, Alejandro Guillén, the release took place thanks to negotiations with the company, linked to the claims presented, although he did not detail the payments or the agreements reached.

The project to speed up the passage of more than 40,000 vehicles passing through this sector has been delayed almost since the start order, issued in December 2020.

The execution period initially granted to the company was 28 months, however, by mid-year when the last progress report was submitted, 8% of the work had been carried out.

In addition to the most recent shutdown, the consortium in charge had also suspended work between August and October last year, alleging payment arrears. Months before, the work had also suffered delays due to design problems and the transfer of utilities.

The works on this 2.8 km intermediate route include the intervention of the six existing tracks, as well as the surface of the ring and its base. They are considering work on marginal areas, 3.2 meter sidewalks, bus stops and cycle lanes.

Once this stage is completed, the interventions in the interchanges will begin, where two overpasses of three and four levels will be built with six traffic lanes in the case of Taras and four in La Lima, where two additional lanes will also be activated for vehicles circulating to and from the El Guarco sector.

At the Taras interchange, a roundabout will be built at the level of the current road, which will allow access to San Nicolás de Cartago. In the upper part, there will be three lanes in each direction, so that vehicles traveling from the Florencio del Castillo highway to Cartago or vice versa travel without stopping. In addition, returns, access roads and connections to marginal roads are considered at this intersection.

The photographer Rafael Pacheco collaborated

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