San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bridges Connect Travelers to Avellanas

SAN JOSÉ DE PINILLA, Guanacaste Less than a year ago, the Santa Cruz Municipality agreed to build the foundations for two bridges over rough, below water-level roads just past San José de Pinilla on the way to Playa Avellanas on the northern Pacific coast. This month, the Avellanas Association announced that the top beams and pavement on the first structure have been completed with money collected from community members, and the bridge is now open.

We have the rest of the money to complete the second bridge top as well, said Roger Jaeggli, president of the Avellanas Association, a longtime area resident, and owner of Cabinas Las Olas just off the beach. Between the neighbors, we have collected more than $50,000.

During past years, in the rainy season, the roads often flooded and became impassable to and from the shore. Solving the problem of the road in and out of Avellanas was a major priority for the Avellanas Association, a group of Costa Rican and foreign residents whose goals are to protect the area s environment while adapting it to development by addressing issues of security, water supply, water treatment, infrastructure, waste disposal, zoning, health threats and more.

Area developer Don Lalonde, of Espiritu de Bali, El Escape and The Viewclub homes and Avellanas Beach Hotel and Villas, Jaeggli and other Avellanas Association members met with officials from the Santa CruzMunicipality, negotiated for the government to construct the lower halves of these two structures, then set about securing the remaining money for the tops.

With the completion of the second bridge expected shortly, people will finally have year-round access to Playa Avellanas, increasing tourism and lessening the burden of those who live in the outlying areas.

Discussions are under way with the Santa CruzMunicipality to pay for the bases of two more bridges on the road to the site of the new PinillaAcademyInternationalSchool, set to open in September in San José de Pinilla, the town before Avellanas. Area developers have already made the financial commitment to complete the tops.

If we don t have a loud and unified voice with the municipality, we will be forgotten, overlooked or ignored, said Avellanas Association member Christi Bettinsoli, owner of Lola s Restaurant. Our community has been very active and generous in its contributions to get the roads repaired and keep them maintained. We have community members and businesses donating money, labor and machinery on a regular basis.


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