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Autopistas del Sol faces concerns over US$40mn environmental damage (Costa Rica)
Costa Rican highway concessionaire Autopistas del Sol is under fire over allegations that construction of its San Jose-Caldera highway caused some US$40mn in environmental damage due to the inadequate disposal of rubble, congress reported on its website.


The estimate is part of an environmental report carried out by expert Monserrat Solano as part of consortium EuroEstudios-IMNSA, which was in charge of supervising the highway project. The report was presented to the congressional concessions committee this week.


Autopistas del Sol dumped large amounts of rubble removed during construction of the highway's Atenas-Orotina stretch in nearby rivers and gullies, according to the report.


The concessionaire, which has a 25-year contract to operate the highway, has said it has solved the rubble disposal issues.


Costa Rica's environmental court is currently studying three legal processes filed against Autopistas del Sol due to damage to protected areas, rivers and the Barva aquifer.


Autopistas del Sol has also faced concerns over safety issues along the 77km route, which was officially opened in January.


The concessionaire is owned by Globalvia (a subsidiary of FCC and Caja Madrid), Itinere Infraestructuras (the Sacyr Vallehermoso group's infrastructure subsidiary) and Portuguese construction firm Soares da Costa.

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