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Regions & Cities
The San Pedro de Alcántara Tunnel
By Malcolm Jones
May 4, 2007, 07:22

They have been talking about a by-pass or tunnel at San Pedro for many years but it was a classic case of mañana, mañana. It is the biggest bottle-neck on the entire Costa del Sol, long queues of traffic stuck at the N-340 Rhonda exit road traffic lights, but just as we were giving up hope
construction work on the new tunnel finally began recently.

Traffic from the main N-340 into Calle Los Naranjos, in Linda Vista Baja, is to be cut as part of the works. Even with the full support of the Ministry for Public Works the project has for some reason been on hold for 10 years.

The Town Hall, of course, apologise for any inconvenience caused. No doubt in terms of inconvenience this will be just the beginning for the motorists in San Pedro. Other roads are to be closed as work gathers pace. Interestingly the provisional administration in the Town Hall has invited
local residents to offer their own suggestions about how best to tackle the problem but nevertheless inconvenience is inevitable in the face of progress. How much inconvenience? Well the project is expected to last for at least two years.

The deputy mayor and San Pedro delegate, Jorge Chacón is keen to consider local resident's suggestions, he said recently "Our aim is that, if anybody has anything to say to us about the plans, they will do so. We promise to
take all suggestions to the builders," He continued and emphasized that the plans are available to the local public at the town hall "We have no wish for this to be a document that is not seen and examined by the local residents and road users, whom it concerns most of all. For example, if a
transport company sees that it can benefit from certain changes to the plans, then they can suggest them and we can act on their suggestions."

The company holding the concession for the work is the OHL construction company. Three large roundabouts will be built and so do away with the need for traffic lights. These will give priority to those driving towards Algeciras or Malaga, over those travelling in a north-south direction. The
work will be carried out in two different phases with the intention of keeping the traffic flowing whilst the work is carried out.

There is growing demand for the alternative route on the AP-7 highway to be available for free; it is currently a toll road but many feel that whilst the major works are carried out it would make a lot of sense to encourage traffic away from the immediate area and onto the toll road by offering to cut the toll fee; at least for the period of the works. The San Pedro junction has been a real traffic problem for many years and with the increasing number of tourists in the area the problem in the summer is critical so the work has to be done, it will just be even more of a problem
whilst the work is carried out, but then in two years time it will be wonderful, I can't wait.

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