The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing of the Government of the Canary Islands, Sebastián Franquis, has presented a new project for the improvement and reorganisation of the Port of Agaete, promoted by the Regional Executive, to modernise the facilities and, at the same time, promote greater connection and communication between the port and the population of Puerto de Las Nieves through a comprehensive urban intervention. To execute this project, the Ministry, announced Minister Franquis, proposes an investment of more than €14.3 million.
The project is the result of a commitment that was made a year and a half ago, between the Town Council and the local fishermen, to start work to improve the Port of Agaete and recover part of the investment that was intended for the Macro Pier, a project that was paralysed based on socioeconomic reports that questioned its viability and on the basis that there was strong public opinion against the initiative. The scope of action for this project covers 42,000 square meters and in no case will work be undertaken to expand dikes or the port, that involve reclaiming land from the sea.
The new project commissioned by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing has the consensus of the fishermen’s institutions and of the municipality.
The projected action will focus on recovering public port spaces that are now underused, giving continuity to the promenade that runs from the Old Dock to the new port in a U-shaped redesign creating a new pedestrian axis.
To achieve this, the old pavements of the old pier will be modified, the promenade on the beach will be improved by repaving it, eliminating architectural barriers, and conditioning the accesses to it. In addition, in the area known as La Corchera, the promenade will be extended by installing a walkway on stilts that will link the beach area with that of the ‘Cofradia’, the fishermen’s guild.
In the area closest to the cofradia, all the constructions that represent a barrier between the port and the fishing village are to be eliminated. Supply rooms will disappear and the cofradia restaurant will be remodelled, eliminating the current high terrace. With this action it would be possible to eliminate the jump in levels that currently exists between the promenade and the area where the nets and fishing traps are stored.
Once inside the Port, the level of the pier is to be modified, raising it one meter above the current level, which would make it possible to bridge the difference in height between the port area and the Puerto de Las Nieves promenade in front of the cofradia. With this leveling of the slopes, a large platform would be created to house a new public square where, today, pots and fishing equipment are stacked, a promenade area that can also host festive events, taking advantage of large spaces that are currently underused.
To finish off this square, a new L-shaped two-story building would be built with a dual objective: to function as a new area for fishermen’s supplies and, above all, as a new boarding terminal for ferries. With the idea that the entire port environment is linked to the rest of the population, a restaurant and a panoramic terrace are projected from the roof of this new terminal. Next to this terminal, a new urban parking lot with a capacity for 85 vehicles would also be created.
Another of the important actions planned for the port environment focuses on gaining more space on the dock by moving the current shoulder of the breakwater, which frees up more than 6,000 square meters in the current buffer zone. Thanks to this freed-up space, the ship’s waiting area would be substantially improved, which would be expanded with two new waiting areas for nearly 200 cars.
The promenade is to be paved over the shoulder, and would be accessed from the terrace of the new terminal building, allowing walkers to almost reach the end of the breakwater. Making it possible to create a pedestrian promenade that would connect the end of the new pier with the old pier with a continuous path that also crosses the beach area, and without architectural barriers such as those that exist today.
It is expected that all these actions and works, when awarded, would last for 18 months.