The governments of Panama and Costa Rica have agreed to open a bailey bridge over the Sixaola river, which connects the two countries, in January 2011.
The existing bridge, which is over 100 years old, will be closed to vehicles as of January, Panama's economy and finance ministry MEF said in a release.
Representatives from both governments met in Panama's Changuinola city in western Bocas del Toro province to discuss the bridge, including proposals to build a permanent structure.
At the meeting, Panama's public works minister Federico Suarez presented the Panamanian government's technical proposal for the project. Costa Rica's public works and transport ministry MOPT is expected to give its opinion before October 30.
The new bridge will be partially financed by the Andean Development Corporation (CAF). Authorities will also look for additional funding from international organizations, the release said.
Former Costa Rican president Abel Pacheco and his Panamanian counterpart Martin Torrijos agreed to build a new bridge over the Sixaola river in 2005, but negotiations between the two counties have progressed slowly.
The existing bridge serves around 800 vehicles each day.