Mogán town hall, earlier this month, pushed forward a proposal to the Government of the Canary Islands and the Island Council, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, for the construction of a tunnel between Taurito and Playa de Mogán, given the concern of residents in the municipality who seek safe alternatives to the closure of this section of the GC-500 after landslides that occurred in July and September 2017 which almost cost the life of a mother and her son. Reports this week suggest that the drafting of the project has been put up for tender, so time will tell if the project is to go ahead or not.
A “short-term option” has also previously been put forward “which would be the realisation of a technical study to assess the possibility of modifying a section of the GC-1, to reclassify the highway to become a secondary road with a roundabout that would allow the connection between these two tourist centres”.
During a meeting with the Minister of Public Works and Transport of the Canary Islands Government, Pablo Rodríguez, and from the Cabildo, Ángel Víctor Torres, the mayor of Mogán explained that “this alternative would only be temporary until a definitive solution is found,” it is a viable option they think “since there is little traffic from Puerto Rico to Mogán”.
“This proposal has technical and political will for its study, so we hope to receive news soon about its viability,” said the councillor.
As an alternative in the medium to long term, the Mogán council have proposed the construction of a short tunnel on the GC-500 that would link Taurito with Playa de Mogán and “would [bypass] the dangerous curves and possible landslides that could occur”. This is based on an alternative suggested by the technical staff of the Ministry of Public Works of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria.
The current plan is to look at drafting the road tunnel project as part of the GC500 national road, bypassing all of the areas identified as being most likely to suffer landslides in the future. It would be 250m section of tunnel with a carriageway going in each direction.
The execution of the tunnel would be expected to cost approximately €4m, which would be financed by the Government of the Canary Islands, should the technicians of both the Regional Executive and the Island Cabildo decide that its construction could be the definitive and most appropriate solution to solve the existing problems which have left the main road closed for nearly a year and a half.
The mayor of Mogán said that “it is necessary to establish an alternative route that connects Taurito with Playa de Mogán since, above all, we must preserve the safety of both tourists and residents, so we hope to find a definitive solution soon.”
The reopening of the GC500 is imperative due to the fact that mopeds and cyclists, among other modes of transport, are prohibited from travelling on the motorway, through series of the long tunnels that extended the autopista back in 2014, so a purpose-built short tunnel on the old national road appears to be the very best solution that would allow for the reopening of that secondary route and allowing for the GC1 to then be returned to carry motorway-only traffic again in the future. The island’s stated long term strategy is to eventually have an autopista that rings the island… mind you, who knows how long that could take…?
Taurito is one of the favourite family resorts on the island and since July last year it has been totally cut off from neighbouring Playa de Mogán except via a 14km motorway round trip, back east towards Puerto Rico to change direction on the GC1, so as to get to the picturesque little village just 3km or so to the west. Vehicles that cannot travel on the motorway literally have to travel either over the mountains in the middle of the island or go completely around the island in the other direction. The picture below is our artists impression of where we think they might be considering the new tunnel to solve the problem once and for all.