San José, Alajuela, and Heredia Have the Highest Number of Roads in Poor Condition in the Country - Expat Community

San José, Alajuela, and Heredia Have the Highest Number of Roads in Poor Condition in the Country

May 8, 2024 | Costa Rica, News & Articles | 0 comments

by Patricia Recio

Lanamme warns that most of the country’s roads have slip conditions that are a risk for drivers.

San José, Alajuela, and Heredia are the provinces with the highest number of roads in the worst surface conditions.

According to the latest Assessment Report of the Road Network by the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Lanamme), analyzing the condition index of regularity, which determines the comfort perceived by drivers when traveling on the roads, these three provinces have the most stretches with deficient and very deficient conditions.

In the case of San José, out of the 763 km evaluated, it was determined that 293 km (41%) were in deficient condition and 95 km were in very deficient condition (13%), with only 72 km in good condition and the remaining 303 km classified as regular.

The provinces of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and Guanacaste presented the highest number of kilometers of roads in deficient functionality.

In Alajuela, a total of 1,001 km of roads were evaluated, of which only 86 km (8.5%) were categorized as good, while 234 km (23%) were classified as deficient and 35 km as very deficient. The rest were considered in regular condition.

The report also highlights the case of Cartago, where not a single kilometer of national roads was classified as in good condition. 193 km were found in regular condition, 98 km in deficient condition, and 15 km in very poor condition.

Under the same criteria, Heredia also turned out to be one of the provinces with the highest percentage of stretches in poor conditions (46%). In total, 39 km of the 264 km evaluated were in very poor condition, and 84 km were in deficient condition, while 88 km were rated as regular and 51 km as good.

According to the analysis, the prevailing regular condition in all provinces is an indicator that the maintenance management strategy is similar throughout the country.

International studies cited in the Lanamme report directly relate the regularity index to vehicle operation and maintenance costs, as well as pollution levels.

Most Dangerous Roads

Another parameter evaluated by Lanamme was the pavement skid resistance condition of national roads, which corresponds to the surface grip that vehicles can have at a specific moment.

In this section, only the condition of 2,373 km of roads could be measured because the devices used for this purpose can only be used on pavements in good condition. Under this criterion, the roads in the provinces of Cartago and Heredia are the ones that showed the lowest number of evaluated stretches.

The risks of accidents increase on stretches with the worst pavement grip conditions and intensify under external factors such as rain.

Puntarenas was the province where it was possible to analyze the largest number of paved roads, with a total of 619 km, of which 229 km were classified as very slippery and 303 km as slippery. The second province with the highest number of risky stretches was Alajuela, where it was determined that out of the 560 km evaluated, 200 km were in a very slippery condition and 240 km as slippery.

In San José, it was found that out of 305 km evaluated, 128 km were classified as very slippery and 136 km as slippery, while in Guanacaste, 160 km were in the highest-risk condition and 194 km in the slippery state.

The province of Limón showed the highest percentage of roads in better condition within that criterion, with 104 km classified as “slightly slippery” and only 32 km as very slippery.

According to the count made by the experts, the results showed that the distribution of roads in the slippery to very slippery categories is similar throughout the national territory and represents more than three-quarters of the evaluated roads. Under these conditions, the probabilities of traffic accidents increase to 20 events per million vehicles due to the risk of skidding or braking difficulties.

Roads with non-slip and slightly slippery conditions represented 20% of the total evaluated road network.


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