his is what the entrance to the city of Cañas looks like when there is a strong downpour. Foto por Luis Mendoza
This is what the entrance to the city of Cañas (Guanacaste) looks like when there is a strong downpour. Foto por Luis Mendoza

by Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo, Vozdeguanacaste.com – Three months after the Cañas-Liberia highway began to be used, some sections are flooding due to clogging of drainage along the roadway.

The situation affects Bagaces, Cañas and Liberia, whose mayors blame the National Highway Council (CONAVI- Consejo Nacional de Vialidad) for what they consider bad design of the highway.

Meanwhile, CONAVI indicated that these problems were already occurring long before the highway was built.

The mayor of Bagaces, William Guido Quijano, affirmed that “the route is poorly designed” because CONAVI did not preplan proper water evacuation, mainly at the entrance of the city.

Julio Viales Padilla, mayor of Liberia, also pointed out that the area at the entrance of the La Cruz neighborhood floods frequently. “The expectation was that the highway was supposedly going to improve drainage and in reality, it did not,” he said.

In the case of Cañas, the problem is even greater because neighbors have had to wade through the water that accumulates along the side walls of the drawbridge, causing flooding in neighborhoods such as San Cristobal and Los Angeles, as shown in photographs provided by neighbors.

CONAVI Has No Quick Fix

CONAVI spokesman Roberto Lopez reported that, for now, the agency is studying if there are areas for improvement. “We are committed to following up on the problem,” he said.

Although we tried to talk to the engineers in charge of the project, the press office would only provide this clarification.

The minutes from a council session that the Municipality of Cañas provided to The Voice of Guanacaste records the version of the engineers, who met at the municipality on June 17 with the three mayors involved.

According to the minutes, engineers indicated that the matter is the responsibility of the municipalities since it is a problem caused by the sewer system of each of the cantons.

They explained that CONAVI could look for some mitigative measure, but the problem will not be solved anytime soon.

Given these explanations, the mayor of Cañas, Luis Fernando Mendoza, stated that since CONAVI doesn’t have a concrete plan and responsibility is being shifted to the municipality, he will not accept the work from President Luis Guillermo Solis on July 25th, when the president is scheduled to inaugurate the highway.