Officials Evaluate Plan with Chinese Bank to Complete Route 32 Expansion - Expat Community

Officials Evaluate Plan with Chinese Bank to Complete Route 32 Expansion

Nov 24, 2023 | Costa Rica, News & Articles | 0 comments

Officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), and the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) assessed a plan to complete the rehabilitation and expansion of Route 32. In their inaugural meeting held on Tuesday morning, discussions revolved around the design, rehabilitation, and expansion project for the road connecting San José to Limón. The meeting covered key aspects:

  1. Background and overall status of the project.
  2. Obstacles encountered and actions taken to address them.
  3. Roadmap to achieve project completion.


Due to the approaching deadline for disbursements to finance the project expiring next year, the roadmap comprises two essential components:

  1. Commitment from MOPT and the National Road Council (Conavi) to present an updated design with the final characteristics of the road.
  2. Commitment from the contracted company, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), to complete the project by the end of 2024 based on that design, aiming for the route’s timely and efficient culmination.


Both the Ministry of Finance and MOPT expressed an understanding of the urgency felt by the Limón population to see the completion of this project. This commitment is emphasized not only due to the years of waiting endured but also for the development it would bring to the region, as stated in a joint statement by both ministries.


Despite the original deadline for completing the Route 32 expansion project being September 2020, the new target is December 2024. The project’s original cost was $485.6 million, but current estimates put it at $552.5 million, according to Minister of Finance Nogui Acosta.


The loan to finance the project was calculated without having the designs ready, and the credit approval discussion extended for an extended period. Other challenges faced by the project relate to mismanagement and poor pre-investment planning. The construction began without completed expropriations, leading to consistent delays in physical and financial schedules.


The 107-kilometer expansion project of Route 32, between the Río Frío intersection and Limón, initiated on November 20, 2017, is managed by the contracted company CHEC and Conavi as the executing entity. To date, 82.4% of the EximBank credit for partial financing has been utilized.



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