So What’s Our Government Done For Us Lately?

Plenty, and we’re ever so grateful
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

This month Mayor Abarca made good on his promise to the people of FRAO, (the Foreign Residents Attention Office), by providing a bus trip to many of Rosarito’s newest city and state projects, and explaining what our government is doing for us.  Guides Carlos and Reynaldo provided information at the four sites visited, and we are passing along to you what we learned.

We are nearing completion of the Benny Juarez Boulevard renovation. (I can I hear an “Alleluia!”) This is what we are getting for our trouble and $2.2 million US dollars.

The concrete used is rated MR 30-42 which means it can accommodate heavy trucks without cracking, which leads to potholes, which leads to more road shut-downs. Previous makeovers were asphalt which is an incredibly bad choice.

The project started at the Rosarito Beach Hotel and has progressed northward one mile. Yes, the project is only one mile long. Stepping through it felt way longer didn’t it?

In addition to the sturdy lanes are the decorative dividers with much improved street lighting, plants, and colorful stamped concrete. Two additional cross walks, corner planters, and monuments were added, which makes the central area much more inviting.

Underneath it all are massive storm drains which will divert rainwater away from the main boulevard to the beach. We are told that the inclusion of theses drains is what has taken so much of the time and resources. Apparently storm drains don’t come cheap.

Zona Rosarito, the “esplanade” (looks like just a street to us), that runs from the restaurant El Nido to the beach, past Papas and Beer and party central, is nearing its first stage of four stages of completion, and includes Calle Coronado, and crosses the boulevard running in front of the Catholic church. The complete project is slated to cost about $10 million.

The wide sidewalks promoting walking instead of driving will accommodate many and provide a pleasant place to walk. Benches and mounted trash receptacles are provided. There is a single lane for cars (our bus nearly didn’t make it). Beach goers have a direct path to the sand, but there is little parking.

The second phase includes Calle Rosarito between Don Porifino Cantina and Playita Mariscos (behind El Nido). The area will be known as a cultural corridor and provide outdoor spaces to many artisans.

Phase three includes the rebuilding of sidewalks between the boulevard, the beach and the main city park. 

Work will be done to the east side of the boulevard, alongside the Catholic church and connect to the phase one esplanade.  All improvements include colored stamped concrete, plants, benches and trash cans.

Every state in Mexico has a state sponsored art center and Baja’s is being constructed at the south end of Rosarito. There are several phases to this complex which was started two months ago on the east side of the toll road. Turn inland at Ave. Lienzo Charro (that’s the blinking signal south of Pemex), a little way up the hill; just follow the signs for La Cascadas condos.  The main building, built first, will include galleries for art and photos primarily by artists from our state and should be completed by year’s end. Operative word being should. Later, this will include national and international art.  The cost of this part of the project is $1.1 million. There will also be an outdoor theatre. This art and cultural center will be on a par with the greatest centers of Mexico, and is free to the public. Well, our guides promised it will be as good as any center in Mexico, even better than what those hicks in Mexico City have. Maybe not.

Up in the hills due east of the Rosarito Beach Hotel and near the Baja California University at Rosarito, is the new city park and the new charro (rodeo) arena. The park is in a quiet glen just below the arena. There is plenty of grass, children’s play areas, shaded tables and benches, BBQs, and restroom facilities. 

The arena seats 4500 spectators and has already hosted several events, with the next large one scheduled for October. The arena is open year round with free use by the public.

Those looking for a little more activity in their lives will appreciate the Punta Azul Tennis Center. Located (again) on the east side of the toll road at KM 28, one can see the bright white and blue walls stenciled with silhouettes of tennis players that surround the center.  This is a professional tennis center offering 13 courts including one center court with stadium seating for 1200 spectators; grass and hard courts; locker and restroom facilities. There is no dues structure and court use is open to the public, and almost free; just enough is charged to pay for facility maintenance and cleaning. There are instructors and ball-pitching machines available for an additional charge. This summer the center is providing tennis classes for children.

Cautionary note: there are no accessibility ramps and stairs are involved, even for stadium spectators; and guardrails are nonexistent. The stairs are up (down?) to Mexican building code, which means each step is a different height. But for those healthy enough for tennis, you will figure out the hardships, and the ocean view can‘t be beat.