So what does ol’Jack think about the brand new Cinta Costera 3 that circles Casco Antiguo, his old neighborhood? As my regular, loyal reader knows, I’ve been consistently opposed to destroying a historic view. Were there other ways of getting by, around, over or under our cherished World Heritage Site? Of course there were, but the point is the causeway is finished, done and not going away.
So anyway, my lovely wife and I were out walking last Wednesday evening along the promenade around the ancient walls surrounding the Plaza de Francia when the most fantastic, impressive, spectacular and noisy fireworks I’ve ever seen erupted. Three times on the hour the explosive celebration of the new road flashed in brightly reflected sparkles across the water as boom after boom echoed through the narrow streets of old town. Blast after multiple, colorful blast shot up from all along the highway that itself was illuminated from below by red, blue and green Las Vegas lights and a striking line of low slung street lights. It was New Year’s Eve, Independence Day and Fourth of July all wrapped up in one huge showy show. It was impressive, maybe too impressive, as if they knew the road (unlike the first two phases) would be a hard “sell” so they went all out to impress. Our little dog Fluffy finally came out from under the bed over the weekend.
The highway itself is remarkably big, three lanes wide each way, with sidewalks and bike paths all along the giant, nearly three-kilometer-long U-turn. There are playgrounds and even a circular observation deck with a panoramic view of the endangered UNESCO site. On the Chorrillo end there’s an already popular skate-boarding park and volleyball and basketball courts. And don’t forget the new soccer stadium done up in patriotic blue, white and red. On the Fish-Market end, there’s what looks like a poorly planned bottleneck that could slow down the access to Avenida de los Poetas (I’ve seldom seen any poets on that street) and the Bridge of the Americas beyond. We do think it might be quicker heading out to the interior; at least until it gets crowded and then we might go the old way.
Even though I still think it was a bad idea, what I do have to admit is that the result is a project that will and should be appreciated for what it is—here to stay.