On Monday, October 14, machinery from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) commenced maintenance work on route 160.
Work began from the intersection of the Samara gas station toward Nosara. Julio Viales, regional director of MOPT, explained that they are first applying 200 cubic meters of arenon (a thick sand), which will go under the asphalt base in order to replace the clay-like surface of the ground responsible for the dips forming along the road.
Viales indicated that the 200 cubic meters of material were donated by the municipality of Santa Cruz, and that the ideal would have been applying crushed stone under the base since it would be better quality; however the cost of this is 9,000 colones ($18) per cubic meter, making it impossible to afford with MOPT’s regional funds.
The cost for arenon is 5000 colones ($10) per cubic meter.
It should be noted that the asphalt layer applied in February and March was 7.6 centimeters thick, and the stabilization base had an asphalt emulsion composed of an acid that allows better absorption and compacting of the ground particles in order to prevent fresh asphalt from sticking to vehicle tires.
MOPT has used this mixture on other routes in Guanacaste, but it did not work on route 160 due to the clay-like type of material, the humidity and the shade on the road.
Due to this, Viales indicated the important role the sun plays in keeping the roadway dry when the asphalt is applied to the sections. “Currently there are many branches over the road that create shade and moisture, which prevents the road from drying completely,” he explained.
Viales requested collaboration from the Municipality of Nicoya and from neighbors to prune the tree branches over the road that cause shade and moisture.
The asphalt won’t be laid until the beginning of this December, when the rains have stopped, on the remaining four kilometers between Garza and Nosara and the deteriorated parts, with the exception of the approximately 800-meter sector known as Dos Lorenas, which will be done with concrete.