Plans launched to modernize the nation’s four border crossings

Costa Rica will modernize its four border crossings with an $80 million loan from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, trade officials said Wednesday.

The four crossings are Peñas Blanca and Las Tablillas at the Nicaraguan border and Paso Canoas and Sixaola at the border with Panamá.

Anabel González, minister of Comercio Exterior, outlined the projects Wednesday and said a commission would be set up to oversee the work. The effort is seen as a boon to trucking firms.

The work at Peñas Blancas will build on work already done there. The United States bankrolled a truck inspection station as part of an anti-drug effort. There also is a new immigration area there.

Sixaola always has been a disaster. Sometimes the officials there do not even check persons crossing from Panamá. A new bailey bridge, a joint project with Panamá, has put the old rail span there over the Río Sixaola out of vehicular service, but it still is used for pedestrians.

The Las Tablillas crossing at Los Chiles is new. A 2010 law established it. But there is little infrastructure.

Ms. González said that the modernization of the border crossings had been delayed for 20 years and she linked the work to the competitivity of the country. Officials said they expected to present the proposal for the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo to the legislature by mid-year.

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