Garantías Sociales Roundabout
TOP LEVEL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR COSTA RICA
65,000 vehicles travel through the underpass of the Garantías Sociales roundabout on a daily basis; this is a key road that connects the Costa Rican capital, San José, with nearby urban conglomerates in Curridabat, Desamparados, Zapote and San Pedro, all part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica.
Until a few months ago, congestion and road chaos prevailed. Today, this is a first-class, 864 meter long road, which includes a 550 meter long underpass, 6 lanes, 3 in each direction, allowing uninterrupted transit from north to south of the capital, and vice versa.
It all started with a contract on December 19, 2018 between the customer, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Government of Costa Rica and Meco.
“This project in the Garantías Sociales area marks the beginning of the construction of large-scale works in Circunvalación.”
RODONFO MÉNDEZ MATA
, MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION
On March 30, 2020, within the project schedule of the contract, this road was being inaugurated virtually (the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop Meco from completing the project) by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, and Minister Méndez Mata. One of the biggest challenges of the project was to generate the least impact on users within a high traffic urban context.
A $US 17.7 million investment from a Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) loan, was executed efficiently; this was a first-class infrastructure project that brings out great things for a country that needed good news.
A HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH
While the infrastructure built was the main purpose of the project, the underpass in the Garantías Sociales roundabout was a milestone in a different field: Human Rights.
For the first time in a project executed by Meco, work was done from a social inclusion and non-discrimination approach. At least, 10% of the staff were women and the hiring of people with disabilities was promoted. All of them were given equal salary and training conditions. As an example of this effort, 214 hours of training were given, including training men against street harassment and training women on gender equality.
In an environment dominated by male labor such as construction, the achievement of the proposed goals was more than satisfactory. “With the Garantías Sociales project, we begin our commitment to increase opportunities for women in a traditionally male-dominated sector,” Ana Yancy Arce, Corporate Manager of CSR and Communication at Constructora Meco, said. After project completion, it can be said that the work and goals were fully achieved.