• Deterioration of expansion joints connecting bridge and the exposed steel are some of the damages found by LANAMME.
• Bridge communicates Nicoya with Cañas and is used by over 4000 vehicles per day.
The National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME, for its acronym in Spanish) of the University of Costa Rica found problems that affect the functionality of Puente de la Amistad over Tempisque River, which communicates Cañas and Nicoya. Lanamme warned that it requires prompt intervention, since it presents problems affecting the functionality of the structure.
LANAMME engineers inspected the structure and found serious damages in the expansion joints that connect the two sections of the bridge (one braced section and a section of a box beam). This, as indicated in the report, makes transit of thousands of drivers who use this road risky.
The exposed steel, the wear on the concrete (delamination), fatigue issues in metals, abandoned access to the anchors that allow the maintenance of the bridge, and other damages could be caused by the strong earthquakes that have occurred in this area. These damages have not been repaired; such is the case of guardrails and of concrete linking certain sections.
“Because of these preliminary findings, the Administration has been recommended to timely address the cases of vandalism of the elements of the bridge, to clean it, ensure access to the area where the anchors are located, and to manage the replacement of the expansion joint as soon as possible,” advises LANAMME.
The Laboratory is conducting a follow-up report of the provisions warned in 2005 by the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA, for its acronym in Spanish), who mentioned the need for permanent bridge monitoring, and that the administration probably did not respond.
The bridge is 780 meters long and was opened in 2003 at a cost of US$ 27 million, donated by the government of Taiwan to Costa Rica.