President Laura Chinchilla was at the border with Nicaragua to officially open the new route 1856. The name of the new road will be called Juan Rafael Mora Porras, in honor of the president and liberator of the country during the national campaign.
The road of 160 kilometers long, has changed the face of an area historically neglected by the state.
Only 7 months ago, the people of Costa Rica side of the delta, an area adjacent to the river San Juan, had to walk for hours to get to their homes or using makeshift boats to navigate the river and save some time. No water, no electricity and only open roads in the jungle, people lived with these conditions for over 150 years.
But the new road brought the lighting and public transport, cellular telephony, the Internet and soon will bring drinking water and even tourism to the area.
The road will directly benefit approximately 3 000 people from 22 communities and 30 companies working simultaneously on the road have created about 650 jobs.
“The first stage of this project is 80% finished. We hope that the remaining 20% is completed in the next 3 months. We still have to get 8 bailey bridges, two of which are large (one of 100 meters and another 200 meters).” said Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Francisco Jiménez.
Jimenez said he has received orders from President Chinchilla to advance to the second stage, Juan Rafael Mora Porras Road (formerly known as Sovereignty) down to Los Chiles.
“Right now we are doing the analysis of the expansion of the project, seeking budget to continue with the works. We estimate we will need about 6 billion additional colones for the second stage, 150 kilometers.” said Jimenez, who also added that in later stages could think of extending the route to the Caribbean, trying to achieve a dry canal.
Laura Chinchilla, these words start with one of the most moving speeches she has delivered since taking the presidency. “I am terribly shocked, because this is a day I’ve been waiting a long time for … because it is a day Costa Ricans have been waiting for generations. ”
According to the statements of Chinchilla, the road is integrating the country’s development to a part of it that had historically been marginalized.
“How wonderful it would be one day, the San Juan instead of being a border that separates us from becoming a border that unites us! How beautiful it would be true that the works to be developed, both north and south of San Juan, both countries we could turn this area into a major pole of development for the benef it of both Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans! ” said an excited Chinchilla.