This article was originally published in April 2009 and is visible now so that readers can look at what was happening on the Costa Tropical back then.
And the prize for the most ridiculous road works goes to… Yes, you’ve guessed it, last years winners; Almuñécar! They’re really ahead of the pack these guys, it seems the balls up in Velilla just wasn’t enough, now the Town Hall has decided to dig up Avenida de Andalucía, and just in time for the Easter holidays.
It’s a bit of a blow for local businesses, hoping for a boost with the Easter trade, but congratulations must be in order for the Town Hall in managing to block yet another main road into the town. If it keeps on like this we’ll soon all be trapped with no one being able to get in or out!
Understandably, local businesses are a little bemused (to put it politely). “Why now?” they ask. Why not wait until after Easter (or better yet after summer)? Will the ‘improvements’ actually help? And are there not more needy areas in town to let the diggers loose on?
For those of you still wondering what’s going on and, like me, couldn’t find the sign explaining it the idea is to level out the road and pavement onto one layer and partition with bollards, like in town centres. Thus creating a wider pavement area and getting rid of the parking space along the road. There is after all too much parking space in Almuñécar.
On the bright side, for pedestrians, skateboarders and pigeons alike, it all sounds like a jolly good idea, if it ever gets finished. Now, for fear of sounding too sceptical, the whole job should only take six months and the road will be completed in two halves so there will always be some access (watch out for adjoining one-way streets changing direction mind).
Interestingly though the very same street was dug up only four years ago. Perhaps they didn’t get it all the first time I wonder? And in search of some answers we went off in search of the Mayor to see if he could shed some light on the matter.
Unfortunately, Mr. Benavides was unavailable for comment (last seen on his way to Morocco for a little impromptu holiday while his council staff wait for their paycheques) but we did manage to grab an interview with the Engineer in town planning, Alejandro Roldán.
He explained that the project is part financed by the Junta de Andalucía, which comes with a deadline. Once a contract has been signed with the company carrying out the work there is a maximum elapse of one month before work must commence. (In other words, use the Junta’s grant or lose it – Ed).
In this case, the said month expired before the beginning of Semana Santa; hence the irrational start date conflicting with both Easter and summer holidays. Mr. Roldán did hint however that there is a good possibility the works will conclude before the estimated six months, this being in the interest of the construction company who would then get paid earlier.
Meanwhile, this year the traditional route for the Semana Santa processions will be redirected down Avenida Don Juan Carlos I, and at the very least the construction company will ensure the pavements are passable for pedestrians at this time. As for the fast approaching summer holidays and the hoards of tourists that it brings, it’ll be interesting to see how drastically the flow of traffic will be affected. My advice to you all; get a skateboard.
What the locals have to say!
“Awful. It’s another nail in our coffin. We received no notification whatsoever, they’re (Town Hall) just killing off the town”. A justifiably unhappy Sue Kennedy, El Faro.
“I deliver here and it’s hard enough to park and unload as it is. I’ll have to just stop the van in the middle of the street.” David Bueno, Reposteria Monte Alban.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but why on earth have they done it now? Just before Easter! And we weren’t warned”. A resounding comment echoed by Mr. Fali, Fali Supermarket.
“It’s not going to be a radical improvement. Let’s just hope what happened in Velilla doesn’t happen here…. Yesterday they blocked off the pavement too, at the very least they need to make sure there is access.” A concerned business owner, who wished to remain anonymous.
(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)