Pavement of Route 160: Everyone Makes Promises But No One Fulfills Them

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“It’s easier said than done,” the saying goes, and after 13 years of covering the news in Nosara, The Voice of Guanacaste decided to look through our archives to find every time an official or politician promised that there would soon be pavement on Route 160, which connects Nosara to Samara. It seems that pavement is only in the imagination and words of politicians and officials, who promised and stated over and over again that the street would be paved, but on the eve of another 25th of July, the stretch remains a gravel road in poor condition.

One Interesting fact that we found is that the majority of promises and repairs on the route have happened before, during and in the months just after the time period of the Annexation celebrations  (see infographic “Eight Years of Promises”).

Emergency Maintenance

Gravel maintenance promised since February of 2014 will now be processed through an emergency decree issued by the government, according to Guiselle Alfaro Bogantes, an engineer from the office of the Minister of Transportation, Carlos Segnini.

“The plan is to immediately take care of Route 160 by conforming and stabilizing the ground to significantly improve the conditions of the surface and control the generation of dust in population centers,” Alfaro said.

Regarding when the work would begin, Alfaro did not give an exact date but said, “We are in the process of reviewing the investment plans so that once the endorsement is obtained for this step, we can proceed with making the required contracts,” he added.
In addition, Alfaro said that Conavi plans to draw up a contract with the objective of having a company available for several years, to take care of the route periodically as needed, so as not to have to go through a bidding process every time the road needs work. However, he did not specify a specific date for beginning this process.

Pavement Will Take Place in 2017

Meanwhile, Conavi stated that the process of paving the route is included in the 2015-2018 National Development Plan. This was confirmed by Monica Moreira, an institutional planning official for Conavi, who indicated that work on the 30 kilometers (19 miles) that connect Samara to Nosara is scheduled for 2017.

“The specific commitment is to advance 30% of the construction by the end of 2018, for which work would start in 2017,” Moreira reported.

In addition, the official commented that they have advanced about 75% with the necessary land registry plans and the budget to proceed with the corresponding process of expropriation.

Residents Tired of Promises

With so many unfulfilled promises over time, many people who live and travel along the route feel abandoned by government authorities. For this reason, a group of residents formed the Roads and Route 160 Pro-Pavement Committee (Comite de Caminos y Pro Asfalto Ruta 160) to thus find out for themselves what the real situation is.

“Most of the residents of Nosara feel made fun of and disappointed by what the government promises and doesn’t fulfill. Because of this, this committee has the objective of empowering residents with information so that politicians do not fool us anymore,” said Francisco Lopez Briceño, coordinator of the committee.

Gerardo Brenes, assistant coordinator of the committee, said that several officials have repeatedly told them on different occasions that Route 160 has not been worked on because other routes are a higher priority for Conavi.

“What we feel and have been made to understand is that the route is not a priority for Conavi and they really are not interested,” Brenes said.