Thursday, 1 November 2007
Could it be - the long-awaited Costanera Highway improvements from Quepos to Dominical are finally happening? It's true, it's happening, and it means more business development for the Southern Pacific Zone.
It also means an end to back pain, jarred bones, and car damage from driving over the notorious potholes, mud pits, rocks, washouts, ditches and roadblocks that comprised this infamous section of the Costanera - surely the worst section of highway in the country.
The construction activity along the 39 kilometer stretch from Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park to the beach town of Dominical is a hot topic of conversation in The Southern Pacific Zone. Many people are looking forward to faster travel time, hoping to cut the 90 minute trip to about 25 minutes. Zipping up to Manuel Antonio for dinner now is within the realm of possibility.
Bridges have been rebuilt. Dozens of bulldozers, backhoes, pickup trucks and other heavy vehicles are dumping and smoothing tons of rocks and earth. Heaps of dirt and gravel are piled in the road, awaiting the machines.
Detours around the construction sites are common, but nobody is complaining. The much-needed new highway has been just a rumor for 20 years. Some people consider this stretch of the Costanera Highway the "missing link" to development in the Southern Pacific Zone.
The new highway will be two lanes, although it appears wider. Shoulders two meters wide on each side of the highway will accommodate bikes and pedestrians, Acosta says. Phase One will be completed in two years at a cost of $17 million. Phase Two will consist of paving and marking the new road. It will take about one year to complete and cost about $15 million, Acosta says.
MOPT is currently concentrating on the highway along Portalon, Matapalo, Hatillo, Naranjo, Parrita and Paquita. The bridges in Parrita and Paquita will have bicycle lanes. A 1.5-kilometer section of entirely new highway is being constructed just south of the Savegre River - rerouted inland from the present road.
The new highway bodes well for real estate agents all over Costa Rica. The Southern Pacific Zone contains vast tracks of verdant, vacant land, priced lower than in most other areas of the country.
Most roads and highways in Costa Rica are unpaved and in many in relatively poor condition. However, more modern highways are now linking the region for improved convenience. The Costanera highway, located in our region, running from Dominical to Palmar Norte has been completely improved and repaved, and the major highway improvement project has started from Quepos to Dominical.