July 2nd, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) A new, 160-kilometer highway between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which will create a new border crossing, will benefit Costa Rica in several ways, according to authorities.
The highway, which will connect Acoyapa, in the department of Chontales, Nicaragua with Tablillas de Los Chiles in Costa Rica, will mean less trailers passing through San José, more Nicaraguan exports destined for Costa Rica’s port in Limon, and additional tourism, those with knowledge of the project say.
The highway includes a 200-meter bridge across the Rio San Juan, which is currently under construction. The structure will be ready in 2014.
Many in Costa Rica have high hopes for the new border crossing and highway, including the Board of Port Administration and Economic Development in the Atlantic (Japdeva).
At present, some 800 containers from Nicaragua move through the port in Limon. Nicaragua has no port on its Caribbean coast. The new highway will shorten the trip for Limon-bound trailers from Nicaragua by up to six hours.
Allan Hidalgo, Japdeva CEO, said that 30% of Nicaragua’s exports currently depart from Limón, and that the new highway crossing could increase that number.
“Cargo that Nicaragua today sends to ports in Honduras could come to Costa Rica,” he said.
The new Tablillas border could reduce the importance of the Peñas Blancas border in La Cruz, according to estimates by the Ministry of Security.
Security Minister, Mario Zamora, said that immigration offices, customs, border police, and drug detection equipment would all be in place at the Tablillas crossing by May of next year.
“Without a doubt, Tablillas will decongest the traffic of vehicles and people at Peñas Blancas. We are anxious and working hard to become operational,” Zamora said, referring to the installations at Tablillas.