A-7 Further Delayed

Monday, November 13, 2017
By Martin Myall

AND A-7 DefectsThe repair work on the A-7 between Calahonda and Castell de Ferro has been further delayed meaning that it will take two more months to completely reopen.

Only 14 months after its inauguration, the very last stretch of coastal autovia between the Pyrenees and the Portuguese border to be completed was reduced to single-lane traffic after part of the road surface began to sink.

Embarrassed, the Central Government quickly earmarked 2.4m euros for its repair, but putting things right was not to go smoothly. Work began in August this year with the plan that by the end of October the first phase would be completed.

The said phase involved rock blasting on the hillside that runs above and parallel to the autovia in order to remove some of the weight that was causing the hillside to move.

Well, after months of reciprocal accusations between the Central Government and the Regional one in Sevilla over who had not supplied a missing document, the go-ahead was finally given.

Now, it appears that getting lorries up onto the hillside to remove rubble is too dangerous and has caused work to move very slowly and thus alter the competition forecast. The problem has been the steepness of the cuttings and a lack of lighting; the tracks are very steep and have very tight hairpin bends. For this reason, nightshifts have been ruled out, because of a lack of flood lighting.

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Before this stretch of autovia was even begun, engineers and technical staff already knew that tinkering with the hillside was dangerous because of the sheer weight of the rock up there and the its weakness; i.e., faults.

All this means that the end of the blasting phase will not come about until the end of December and, therefore, work on resurfacing the autovia itself won’t begin until January.

In the meantime cars will be restricted to 80 KPH along the 50-odd metres of affected road.

Editorial comment: it is not so much as that there are roadworks, but rather because somebody didn’t do their job correctly. A newly opened stretch of autovia doesn’t hit a major structural hitch just over 14 months from being opened ‘because of an act of God.’

Penny pinching and political pressure to complete a job even at the price of cutting corners so that inauguration ceremonies could be held at moments that were politically convenient are far from being unlikely culprits.

(News: Castell de Ferro, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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