Costa Rican infrastructure boost

By Richard High14 August 2008

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$ 850 million loan to finance public infrastructure upgrades, according to a statement on its website.

The first part of the loan, US$ 300 million, will be used to improve the highway network, which is run by the National Highway Council (CONAVI) and includes both paved and un-paved roads.

Also included will be improvements, reconstruction and repair of approximately 500 km of highways and bridges.

In addition, the loan provides for investments in rural roads, in order to improve competitiveness throughout the country and facilitate transportation of goods produced in rural areas.

Money will also be spent improving and expanding the US$ 136 million, San José-Alajuela Electric Train Concession Project (TREM).

TREM is a mass transportation system that will be run on the existing rail network and integrated with the excisiting mass transport system. Itwill be located in the Provinces of San Jose and Heredia and will cover the territory of six municipalities: Heredia, San Pablo, Santo Domingo, Goicoechea, Tibas and San Jose.

The first phase, between Heredia and San Jose, covers 12.5 km. Future expansion will connect the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia, San Jose and Cartago on a 66 km-long network.

The loan has a 20-year term, a grace period of five years and a 5.64% interest rate.

The government will be required to provide US$ 200 million in counterpart funding over a period of 15 years.

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