The Cabildo of Gran Canaria began to construct a wall yesterday right across the old coastal road, the GC-500, between Playa de Mogán and Taurito, which was closed to traffic over a year and a half ago after several landslides, the wall is apparently intended to protect pedestrians and cyclists who have chosen to ignore the closure and continue to travel through this area after the road closure, despite the danger posed to their safety by the risk of cliff collapse.
Residents have been complaining for a long time that there is just no way to travel from Playa de Mogán without using the main motorway, which means cyclists, pedestrians and smaller vehicles are trapped on the south west of the island until a solution is found, unless they are willing to travel all the way around the island, or use the mountain roads to go inland and back down again adding up to 150km and a couple of hours to a journey that should only take 10 minutes.
“The work aims to restrict access to tourists and cyclists on this part of the road because it is the Cabildo’s responsibility to guarantee the safety of the people,” said Ángel Víctor Torres, Public Works Councilor of the Island Corporation, yesterday. The road is the responsibility of the Government of the Canary Islands and it is down to them to make future decisions for that space, although the Cabildo is responsible for its maintenance and conservation.
This section of the road has been judged as unsafe by technical experts due to real risk of landslides, but despite this the road is constantly being used by athletes and passers-by, who have no other way to connect between Taurito and Playa de Mogán, except via the GC-1 highway, for which a suitable vehicle is required.
The old road that connects the two popular tourist centres has been closed to traffic since the summer of 2017, after several landslides; One of them almost cost a mother and her son their lives, after several rocks fell on them while driving through this stretch during the night.
The procedures to provide this area with an alternative are already well underway, the Government of the Canary Islands is working on a proposal for the award of the drafting of the 263-meter-long tunnel project that is to be built joining Playa de Mogán and Taurito. After evaluating six offers, the Executive has chosen a proposal presented by Advanced Technologies of Macaronesia SA, for the amount of €162,051. The tunnel is to have two 3.5-meter wide lanes and will allow drivers to avoid the detour necessary to get from one point to another.
The Cabildo has reported that a wall is being built on each side of the closure, inside a metal fence with clear signage prohibiting passage.
The mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno , said yesterday that “although it is true it was necessary to establish restrictive measures because people ignore the protective measures taken in an area that has twice seen major landslides, the Cabildo has come up with this drastic measure.” She criticised the Corporation for not having “done the homework because Mogán has been waiting for more than a year to be offered an alternative for cyclists, despite much promotion of Gran Canaria as a European sports island, improvements for the cyclists have not become apparent to ensure the season here “. And with that, she added, “the tourism sector is being harmed.”
Bueno said that the local government is still awaiting the study commissioned by the Cabildo that could enable the section of the GC-1 between Puerto Rico and Playa de Mogán to no longer be considered a motorway being reclassified as a national highway with the aim of allowing them to travel by bicycle and municipal licensed vehicles.
The councillor also criticised the Cabildo for not having carried out a study for the creation of a seperate lane between Playa de Mogán and Taurito, a project that the town hall has pushed for. “The study that we have done results in the fact that the enabling of this newly classified section, in both directions, would entail an investment of €80,000 and would take only four weeks,” explained Onalia Bueno.
Mogán waits and watches. Meanwhile cyclists wait for buses.
The Gran Canaria highways authority Carreteras de Gran Canaria have posted this little video today to remind everyone that the section of GC-500 that connects Mogán with Taurito is closed due to a serious risk of landslides and, as this video shows, it is still being accessed daily, by people repeatedly breaking through the protection fence. Please respect the safety measures.
The Ayuntamiento de Mogán townhall are working closely with The Canary Islands government to come up with a suitable resolution, but for now, everyone is asked to respect the safety measures put in place.
Posted by TheCanary.TV on Friday, February 22, 2019
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