by: Federico Fernandez, Real Estate Consultant
The completely redone tract of the Inter-American highway consisting of 50.5 km (31.6 miles) is now ready and open. This is the road between the cities of Liberia and Cañas. Costa Rica’s national route N°1 is part of the Pan-american Highway, a route with about 19,000 miles, that basically crosses the continent from north to south.
Liberia is the main city in the province of Guanacaste. In it, the closest international airport is located. Within an hour drive, for us here at Tamarindo, the city of Liberia is on the way to the main northern border crossing with the neighboring country of Nicaragua (Peñas Blancas). Now that this new road down south of Liberia is open, it makes it an attractive alternative for us to drive to the central valley and other sites of interest along the route.
This is said to be the most modern road in the country at this point. USD$135 million where invested in building the road including 36 bridges (26 brand new and 10 redone). Completely built in concrete, with four lanes, it has eighteen four lane bridges along the original trail that used to be a two lane asphalt road with bridges that in some cases were over 50 years old. Elevated bridges pass along the exits to the three main urban areas of Liberia, Bagaces and Cañas. For safety there is a barrier in the middle all along the route, twelve pedestrian bridges where built, there are also twelve turnarounds, bicycle lanes in populated areas, sidewalks, and bus stops with bays. It is very pleasant to ride along it.
Underground and aerial passages for wildlife were included in specific areas where animals are known to be present and tend to cross the road. Considering environmental impact, it is planned to plant twenty-four thousand trees in sites within nearby national parks of Santa Rosa and Guanacaste and along the road. This is more than twice the trees that were removed to build the road.
It is planned to continue the improvement of National Route N°1 with these characteristics down south. The sections between Cañas and Limonal and Limonal and Barranca that total 70 km (43,75 miles) will be next. These projects are under the process of design and contract. The funds required area already secured and come from an international loan.