Costa Rica and Panama blame each other for delay in bridge construction

Due to the red tape in both countries they could not come to an agreement to build a new international bridge over the Sixaola river on the border between both countries.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


More than three years ago, in April 2005, both governments agreed to build a 240 meter metal bridge to replace the current structure which is more than 100 years old and which is severely rusted and has completed its useful life.

The countries agreed to each build one half of the structure (valued at $2 million). Each government should have started their own process for acquiring the materials and begin the works.

First Panama was ready, but Costa Rica was not. Now Costa Rica is ready, but Panama is not.

More on this topic

Bridgework Urgent in Sixaola

June 2011

The Permanent Bi-national Commission has urged the Ministries of Public Works of Panama and Costa Rica to construct a bridge over the river border at Sixaola in three months .

A temporary (bailey type) bridge is expected to be installed in October this year, after the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Costa Rica (MOPT) have conducted technical studies and respective assessments, together with the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) of Panama.

Japan Announces Bridge Between Costa Rica and Nicaragua

May 2010

The $30 million bridge over the San Juan river will be 260 meters long.

Called “Puente Santa Fe”, it was announced by Shinichi Saito, Japanese ambassador in Nicaragua, and Takeo Ishikawa, delegate from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“Saito assured that there is strong competition among 150 countries to get some of Japan’s cooperation funds, so they will assess the country’s economic, political and democratic aspects to decide if they maintain their cooperation”, reported

Infrastructure Needed on Costa Rica - Panama Border

July 2010

Lack of adequate customs infrastructure and delays to building of new bridge are hampering trade.

In addition to infrastructure problems, businesses describe bureaucratic hurdles with duplication of processes and responsibilities as well as contrasting office hours.

Costa Rica is the main Central American market for Panamanian exporters and the third largest at a global level.

Progress on Bridge Between Nicaragua and Costa Rica

September 2012

The 362 meter bridge above the San Juan river will streamline the transit of goods and create opportunities for the development of new logistics routes.

Construction of the bridge, which is being backed by Japan, should be finished by mid 2014.

An article in El Pueblo Presidente reports, "... agricultural producers expect to decrease their operating costs on exports to Puerto Rico and the United States.

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