Residents of Nosara who make up the Committee of Roads and Pro Asphalt Route 160 have combined efforts with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (in Spanish, MOPT) to finally pave the gap between Sámara and Nosara.
For more than 20 years, financial and expropriation problems have kept this route from being paved. However, after meetings between community associations and the government, everything is just about ready to start the first 10 km of the route.
“The 10 km of asphalt will go from the Santa Marta junction all the way to downtown Playa Garza, said López.
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Elvira Juárez, the minister’s office director at the MOPT, said the same thing.
“[The MOPT is obeying a] request from the President’s Office to guarantee residents’ health with all the dust,” said Juárez.
The office director explained that the MOPT’s machinery will perform the work, but that the project is financed by the National Roadway Council (in Spanish, CONAVI). The total amount to be invested is 2.750 millions ($4.910.000).
The MOPT’s machinery is already working in the area. The process of acquiring material has begun, and the MINAE’s permits are in order, allowing trees to be cut along the route, sources confirmed.
Both Juárez, from the MOPT, and López, of the Committee for Route 160, explained that a design change is being analyzed for the part of the route that passes in front of Hotel L’acqua Viva.
“We’re discussing the possibility that it won’t pass in front of the [Hotel] L’acqua Viva, but instead on a straight section that runs from Rancho Congo [cabins] to the entrance to Playa Pelada,” said López.
López explained that the new alternative has come up due to many curves found on that part of the route, the rough topography, and administrative issues that prevent expropriations.
“A civil engineer and crew of topographers were sent there to analyze the new design,” said Juárez. However, property owners where the new pavement would be still have to give their approval.
Juárez said that, regardless of whether the new design is approved or the original one stands, “we will proceed with the paving.”
With respect to the maintenance work promised by president Luis Solís during his 2015 trip to Nosara, Juárez explained that they are in the process of beginning a new contract with a company.
“We had problems hiring one company and [the plan] did not flourish, but we’re in legal processes now to start a new contract,” she said.
Pavement Reduces Respiratory Illnesses
In 2014, The Voice of Guanacaste published an investigation on the Nicoya hospital’s statistics on respiratory illnesses in the canton. These statistics were based on the last five years at Hospital La Anexión and the EBAIS in Nosara and they show a 64% reduction in respiratory illnesses in the community of Nosara.
A probable explanation for this reduction in dust-caused illnesses is the partial paving that the MOPT performed on Route 160 from San Fernando to Nosara in 2013.