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Is Costa Rica Ready for $16 Billion Interoceanic Mega-Project?

Costa Rica News – Costa Rican authorities are mulling a proposal for the largest infrastructure project in the Central American country’s history: a US$16 billion “dry canal” to connect major ports on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

The country’s National Concessions Council, together with other institutions, received the proposal earlier this week from a private consortium of construction companies called the Dry Canal of Costa Rica, known by its Spanish acronym Cansec.


The land transport system would include a two-way rail system and a 10-lane highway spanning across nearly 200 miles to link up three new major shipping hubs — two seaports and one river port. The mega-project also includes plans for three international airports, 30 hydroelectric projects, 28 new residential communities and other developments.

The proposed new ports would be built Parismina on the Caribbean coast, Santa Elena on the Pacific coastal province of Guanacaste and in San Carlos in the Alajuela province.

The cross-country system is designed to allow shipping authorities to unload goods from one coast, transport by land to the other coast, and reload in less than 30 hours. Backers of the project claim it will create 80,000 jobs.

Government officials are currently studying Cansec’s proposal. Authorities have suggested that the project would complement the Panama Canal and not become a competitor with the neighboring country’s infrastructure.

The timeline for completion of the project is estimated to be up to five years. Feasibility studies are expected to be completed within one year.

The anticipated environmental impacts of the project remains unclear.


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