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   Guanacaste has its own Platina bridge!

Well, now “Guana” (nickname for the province of Guanacaste) truly has no reason to envy “Chepe” (nickname for the City of San Jose). 

The sadly famous “Platina bridge”, icon of the inefficiency of our dear MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation), has its own Guana-version.


All of us who must commute between Liberia and the beach area “enjoy” in past November spending forced resting periods inside our vehicles in the middle of the highway and under a very “cordial” Guanacastecan sun.


And why?  Because the hyper-busy bridge over the Tempisque River which connects Liberia with Santa Cruz and all the coastal area, was closed for no less than 4 full days thanks to  patching job N˚179,850 that has been done to this bridge.

On this occasion, the closure was caused by a small hole of some 20sq.ft, through which one could see the river!  This window situated practically squarely in the center of the bridge was opened in a section that had been “fixed” a little over a year ago.

With only one other alternate lane which is on the even older bridge parallel to this one, the results were very long lines of vehicles which during peak times lined up for as long as 7 km in each direction.

Initial rumors suggested that this hole was not simply an accidental absence of pavement but rather that it was part of a pilot plan by the MOPT which sought to increase the tourist attraction of the national bridges by opening little windows with pretty views to the river that flows below.  However, MOPT staff categorically denied this version.

Now turning serious, and in all fairness to the MOPT, we should say that overall, the condition of the highways in Guanacaste has improved tremendously in the last several years and today the holes are more of an unusual occurrence rather than the constant state of affairs that it used to be a decade ago.


However it’s also just and necessary to say that this bridge is clearly a tired old bridge, that it is a very strategic bridge for Guanacaste and that to keep patching it up every couple of months is a total waste of money.

What it requires (as a minimum) is a complete repaving. What would truly be in order would be to build a new bridge.

Since most probably it will not be changed for a new one nor will it be properly repaved because ‘there is no budget’…I have a solution: Instead of a newly paved surface, how about if we stick on top of it a good TROCHAAAA*…

After all, for those it seems there is plenty of money!


*Editor’s note:  Sorry tourists, that’s a funny local joke in Spanish but we found no way to make it work in English too. it makes reference to a big fiasco of a “trocha”road that was started with much fanfare near the border with Nicaragua but ended with a scandal of huge funds misuse…plus it was actually never finished.

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