On Friday, June 22, area residents met with government officials at the Salón Comunal in Cabanga to discuss paving the Guatuso Road, or Ruta Nacional 143. This is the section from the Lake Road to Guatuso.
The meeting was organized and well-attended. There has been an ongoing effort to get this road paved. Several government officials were in attendance, including National Roadway Council Director José Luis Salas, Tilarán Mayor Jovel Ortega, Guatuso Mayor Abelino, Upala Mayor Alejandro Hernández as well as the presidents of the local associations of both Tilarán and Guatuso.
Many residents spoke about the need for the road. This is an important road for tourists as it connects the Arenal area to the popular sites of Río Celeste and Río Negro. It also offers a route to the Caribbean.
A topographical and engineering study will begin in August and conclude by September. The completion is projected for 2016. The cantons of Tilarán and Guatuso are establishing a commission to cooperate on this and other projects. Certain sections may be singled out for improvements first, as they are most in need. Examples include the road through the town of Cabanga and up the hill on this side of Dos Rocas.
The residents were pleased with the response from officials. When Salas was asked if he would put this plan and schedule in writing, he agreed.
The community was seeing work on the roads in other areas as well. The Lake Road between Nuevo Arenal and La Fortuna, near where the restaurant Indio Pelado was located, is now sporting a new, one-lane Bailey bridge. Other improvements on the Lake Road include improving the road between there and La Fortuna. Thanks to Jeff Spencer for his assistance with this report.