Costa Rica Installs Ramps to Replace Failing Bridges

Ramps will add tourist appeal to national highways, Chinchilla says

Model of a proposed ramp to be installed at

Model of a proposed ramp to be installed at La Platina

SAN JOSE – Costa Rica’s congress voted unanimously yesterday to install ramps to vault national motorists over rivers instead of relying on the country’s failed bridge system.

National bridges La Platina, La Vara Blanca near La Paz waterfall, Circunvalación and Puente La Amistad in Guanacaste will be destroyed and replaced by ramps beginning next week, Legislative Assembly President Luis Fernando Mendoza said. Ramps will be five meters high and ensure proper vault trajectory for all motorists to clear jumps of up to 200-meters, he said.

“This is a day of triumph and innovation,” Mendoza said. “We are the first country in the world to attempt such a revolutionary technique. Not only will we be reducing transportation costs, but we will be alleviating all the bridge headaches that have plagued Costa Rica for so long.”

President Laura Chinchilla applauded the congressional vote, saying that the move will promote tourism, particularly on the La Platina bridge, which connects San Jose to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela.

“Imagine landing in Costa Rica, renting a car, and within minutes, you are being vaulted into the air to get a glimpse of all the natural splendors the country has to offer,” she said.

Ramps will allow four automobiles – two on each side of bridge – to launch at the same time. All automobiles must reach speeds of at least 40kph to assure clearance, according to the Transportation Ministry, which designed the plan after studying several Hot Wheel ramp systems, Chinchilla said.

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