In the News from Panama

Costa Rica-Panama Bridge Officially Opens

A long-waited bridge to improve travel between Costa Rica and Panama was officially opened last week.

The 206-meter, $25 million bridge across the Sixaola River include sidewalks and bicycle lanes and should dramatically improve the flow of traffic between the two countries. The span connects the border towns of Sixaola in Costa Rica and Guabito in Panama and has long been viewed as an important step for transportation in the area.

“Gone is the centenary railway bridge to give way to a modern structure over the Sixaola River that we are putting into service today,” Rodolfo Méndez Mata, head of the Costa Rica Ministry of Public Works and Transport said at the inauguration. “I am sure that it will bring great benefits to our nations by facilitating the transport of products and merchandise produced in our countries, and that it will have a significant impact on the inhabitants of Guabito and Sixaola.”

Construction of the bridge started in 2015 but was delayed several times. The process was considered “complex,” with many different entities involved, including the rail lines and the two governments.

The bridge construction was funded with the help of $10 million from the Mesoamerican Fund-Government of Mexico, and plans were approved by the United Nations Office for Project Services. A temporary bridge was built after the older bridge was dismantled.