A couple of days ago I was perusing La Nación on-line and the lead story was about some hundimiento (pothole) in the General Cañas highway in the Central Valley. After 4 years here I am nearly completely de-sensitized to any tales about holes, wash-outs, slides, etc. I glossed over the article and didn't give it another thought. Apparently, however, I underestimated the importance of this particular whacking great subsidence!
The Great Cañas Hole, as I shall dub it, is now of national importance, or rather is now the current ongoing national joke. Ticos have been working overtime putting out PhotoShop'd ad hoc comics featuring this sinkhole, having fun depicting monsters and cars arising from its depth, but especially poking at various politicians, the main target being La Presidenta Laura Chinchilla. Oscár Arias and his brother Rodrigo (the power behind the throne) get their share of digs, too. Just before Chinchilla took office, Arias inaugurated the new highway, which had plenty of difficulties getting built, and plenty since. One photo-cartoon that I have only heard about has him cutting an inaugural ribbon over the hole. La Nación has a running poll on the front page asking folks to speculate as to how long it will take them to fix this chasm.
To be sure, this mini-disaster is no joke to the 100,000 cars that pass this route daily and I'm sure it's not funny for the many residents who now have diverted traffic passing through their neighborhoods. It's not going to be fixed soon in any case, because the root problem is the failure of water drainage beneath the highway, so they have to dig out and replace the concrete drain tubes. Meanwhile, today, they are installing a Bailey bridge over the gap and at least one lane of traffic is moving through. These kinds of bridges are for emergency repairs and Costa Rica has a lot of these stockpiled. Once installed they usually become permanent, though I'm sure that won't be the case on the highway.
At least some Ticos can laugh about this, what else can they do? It's all in a day's life, especially during the Emerald Season.