Nosara’s dusty road
In early 2018, the Costa Rican government began to act on a promise made to Nosara locals that had gone unfulfilled for decades. The trucks moved in, the MOPT employees began work, and the ground level was raised. After years of empty rhetoric, hollow promises, and placatory talk from politicians, it seemed that finally, the main road in Nosara was about to get fixed. Or at least, the stretch of road between Playa Garza and Nosara.
From the start, it was made clear that this would be no easy task. As well as the issues presented by basic road-building logistics, potential obstacles included political incompetence, financing, consternation from local residents about the felling of trees and disturbance of wildlife, and a range of administrative issues regarding the expropriation of land from current owners. To make matters worse, the ongoing rains from May onwards threatened to churn the terrain into mud, making it impossible for the machinery to operate on a daily basis. Nevertheless, government representatives assured local residents they had it covered. The task of terraforming began in earnest, and a real sense of hope was in the air.
And then, halfway through the project, work ended as quickly as it began. Tools were packed away, the machinery left, and the roads were left in a worse state than before, kicking up unprecedented levels of dust, and leaving locals frustrated.
Many reasons were offered for the work being axed. The main reason cited was a change in government in Costa Rica. However, new government representatives continued to assure Nosara residents work would continue regardless. Unfortunately, it quickly became obvious that this was one more government pledge that would go disregarded.
Soon after, it was revealed that the raw materials designated for the Nosara road project had been rerouted to a project in Santa Cruz. Local residents wanted answers. On the local grapevine, it was reported that the decision to quit work was an act of vengeance by Nicoya officials, executed in order to penalize Nosara for their recent attempts to break away from the Nicoya government umbrella and form their own canton. Arguments aside, the net result was a half-finished, ultra-dusty road, with the likelihood that all previous work had been in vain looking highly probable.
Now for the good news.
In January 2019 the work began again, and MOPT officials got busy reinforcing the Pelada stretch of road, between 5 points and the entry to D section. At the time of writing, this work continues. Once again, government officials have assured the Nosara community that this work will remain ongoing, with a forecasted completion schedule of July 2019. Whether this turns out to be true will become clear in time. In the meantime, residents traveling by bicycle, motorcycle, ATV or on foot are advised to wear face protection to prevent inhaling the dust. Likewise, motor vehicle users are urged to slow down, and drive in a manner that doesn’t kick up so much dust in the first place.