The Andén Verde stretch of the GC-200 has now closed indefinitely to traffic, after yet one more major rockfall blocked the road and led to the decision in light of the near completion of the long-awaited and newly constructed tunneled highway. The risks and cost of restoring this section of Gran Canaria’s most famous, west-coast cliff edge pass are now seen as being too high.
The previously installed high tension wire mesh has been deemed too expensive to replace as it is unlikely to stop future rockfalls and completion of any such replacement would likely coincide with the opening of the new safer inland section.
These important decisions were announced this Monday, 14 November, after a meeting held by the Ministry of Works of the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the Town Hall of La Aldea and UTE, who are overseeing the work on the new road between El Risco and La Aldea.
At that meeting, they analysed a technical report clearly advising that re-opening of a non-meshed road should not be considered because of the dangers involved and the fact that installation of such a mesh could not provide real security since the risk of landslides reoccurring along that section has 100% probability.
Technicians have also highlighted the serious erosion throughout the Andén Verde zone, that caused large landslides in 2015 and in November this year.
The Town Hall of La Aldea has insisted on the early opening of the new section of highway and and a protocol has been activated, allowing passage through the tunnels, in case of a major emergency for vehicles, including ambulances, Guardia Civil etc.
Repair work will begin immediately to the Tocodomán Bridge, on the GC-200, Mogán direction. These long-overdue works will have a budget of about €300,000 and the estimated duration to completion is five months,. This should not affect traffic and will consist of channeling the ravine and expanding the roadway.
An external study has been commissioned to determine the minimum safety conditions for opening the new road to traffic before 31 December 2016. Until then locals will be forced to take the long way round the island, or go up over the mountain to access the north and east of the Gran Canaria.