The border dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua over the mouth of the San Juan river was the cause of an emergency decree by the Costa Rican government, which ordered the construction of a road alongside the right side of the river for a stretch of 160 kilometers.
Following allegations of corruption involving officials responsible for the work, and which prompted the Minister of Transport and Public Works to be fired by President Chinchilla, the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) and CACISA, a company hired to oversee construction, found that about 900 machines belonging to different companies, worked without any constructive plan.
An article in Nacion.com reports that the National Roads Authority (Conavi) confirmed that the work was built without plans.
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The Costa Rican construction sector has requested the government clarify and prioritise public infrastructure projects.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction has issued a press release representing the following groups:
The National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Lanamme UCR), The Federate School of Engineers and Architects (CFIA), The Union of Chambers of Private Enterprise (UCCAEP), The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC), The Chamber of Architectural and Engineering Consultants (CCAI) and the Association of Streets and Roads in Costa Rica (ACCCR).
The Costa Rican construction industry faces a shortage of skilled manpower. The shortage, which is particularly acute on the coasts, is being blamed for overruns on contracts.
The boom in the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas took local labor markets by surprise.
Companies in many cases have been forced to take on workers without the requisite skills, leading to fears that quality might be compromised.
Most road maintenance contracts awarded by the National Roads Authority go to the company Hernán Solís.
Semanariouniversidad.ucr.cr reports that "Of the 22 maintenance contracts given by Conavi around the country, this firm were awarded 13, ie 60% of all projects. In total the company has received maintenance contracts worth over $133.4 million.
The number of building permits issued in the first quarter in Costa Rica was 11 percent up on the same period of last year, as a construction boom gains strength.
The tendency in Costa Rica is in stark contrast with the doubts being expressed over the future of the US economy, and construction industry executives say no end is in sight to growth in the sector.