QCOSTARICA | Costa Rica has a new minister of Transport, Carlos Villalta, who takes over the job of fixing the country’s roads infrastructure and public works. And the infamous ‘puente platina‘ now in its eight year of repair.

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Villalta, an engineer by profession, takes over the ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) portfolio from Carlos Segnini, a lawyer who had been at the job since May 2014.

On January 13 of this year, Segnini announced his resignation, effective January 31.

In announcing the appointment of Villalta, President Luis Guillermo Solis said, “we wanted an engineer who had the ability…. we believe that the Villalta is a builder with capability”.

The minister of the MOPT, Carlos Villalta (right) with President Luis Guillermo Solis

The minister of the MOPT, Carlos Villalta (right) with President Luis Guillermo Solis

Despite the promise by President Solis to shut down the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (Conavi) and the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones (CNC) – National Highway Council and the National Concessions Council – for their poor performance and inefficiency in solving the country’s roads infrastructure problems, the new minister said “it should be strengthened, given it is difficult for the government to have a new National Infrastructure Institute before the end of its term in 2018″.

Former minister Segnini, at the beginning of his term in 2014 announced the closure of the CONAVI and the CNC and the creation of the Instituto Nacional de Infraestructura (INI), a plan never came to fruition.

Like every new minister, Villalta takes over the job with good intentions, saying he will make a priority projects like the Cañas-Liberia, the Paso Ancho underpass, the Pozuelo-Jarines del Recuedro and the Sifon-La Abundancia.

Villalta also promises to move forward projects like the Cañas-Limonal, Barranca-San Gerardo-Limonal and Playa Naranjo-Paquera. And committed to completing the puente platina repair.

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