Region, Nosara

The $70 Million Promised for Pavement of Route 160 Doesn’t Exist

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Luis Antonio Aiza, legislator of PLN (National Liberation Party) for Guanacaste, said that the $70,000,000 pertaining to the loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) made in 2008 supposedly to be invested in route 160 “were false promises since this amount never existed.”  

Thus Aiza contradicted declarations made by the ex-minister of transportation, Karla Gonzales, in 2008, the ex-president of the republic, Oscar Arias, in April of 2010, the former head of MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation), Francisco Jimenez, in April of 2011 and finally in March of 2012 by Juan Marin, Minister of Decentralization. Aiza made these declarations during a meeting this Tuesday, April 2 in the Presidential House, between functionaries of MOPT, the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) and community leaders from the Canton of Nicoya. 

On behalf of the government, those present were the vice president of the republic, Gustavo Alvarado, Legislator Aiza, Jose Chacon Laurito, vice minister of infrastructure of MOPT (substituting for Minister Pedro Castro), Alejandro Molina, director of the division of public works of MOPT, Cristian Vargas, director of roadway conservation for CONAVI, and Monica Moreira, manager of planning for CONAVI. 

Representing Nicoya, those in attendance were Marcos Avila, syndic of Nosara and president of the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN), Bonifacio Diaz, syndic of Samara, and Mario Fonseca, community leader of the district of San Antonio. Cristian Vargas, of CONAVI, explained that the project to pave route 160 that connects Nosara with Samara does exist, but it’s progressing slowly. When consulted by VON what stage the project is in, Vargas reported that it is still in the process of elaborating the land registration plans. 

The first stage was completed in July of 2011 when designs of the road were turned in when the agreement was signed by the former vice minister of infrastructure of MOPT, Maria Lorena Lopez, and the current vice minister of the presidency, Francisco Marin.

Upon learning of the slowness and holdup of the project, Jose Chacon demanded that Vargas and Moreira of CONAVI “accelerate” the process. So the vice minister committed to having the plans ready before the year ends.

Once the stage of plans is finished, in 2014 the process of expropriating the lands that are near the route will begin, a process that supposedly was going to initiate in 2011 according to declarations to VON in April of 2011 from the ex-head of MOPT Francisco Jimenez. Moreira didn’t specify how long this stage could take since he indicated that it will depend on the goodwill of the owners of the properties.

So it won’t be until 2014 or even 2015 when the final stage would begin, which is bidding for the contracts and finishing with the construction of the work.

Once the meeting concluded with the representatives of the government, Avila, Diaz and Fonseca recognized that there was important progress, principally in knowing the current reality on the theme of roads and about the measures that MOPT plans to take; however they consider it necessary to follow up on the progress of the projects and rendering the respective accounts.  

Pavement on Route 150 San Antonio of Nicoya Will Be Done After Finishing Work in Nosara Meanwhile, the inhabitants of San Antonio of Nicoya who live along route 150 will have to wait until the work crew from MOPT located in Nosara finishes partially paving the 8.5 kilometers to Barco Quebrado to be able to have pavement from the entrance to the cemetery of the community. Alejandro Molina indicated that once the work in Nosara is finished, the machinery will move immediately to the district of San Antonio to pave 4.5 kilometers up to the location of La Florida.  Julio Viales, regional director of MOPT, confirmed this version and although he felt it was still premature to give a date for starting and finishing, he assured that the work is guaranteed before July 25.