Local Daily News 21st June

Transport invests one million euros to improve access to the University of Alicante from the A-70

The Ministry of Transport and Urban Mobility has awarded one million euros for the works to improve the branch of the A-70 in the direction of Murcia towards the University of Alicante. The objective is to improve road safety on the link. The link on which this project acts is one of the main accesses to the city of Alicante from the ring road, in a section with an Average Daily Intensity close to 100,000 vehicles. This action is part of the conservation and maintenance program of the State Road Network, where the Ministry has invested more than 130 million euros since June 2018 in the province of Alicante.

Specifically, the objective is to improve the access branch to the roundabout of the University of Alicante, from the A-70, towards Valencia-Murcia for all vehicles arriving from Sant Joan. The retentions to access the San Vicente Campus from the ring road, the main access, are usually collapsed during the entry and exit times of students, professors and teaching staff on a campus where 30,000 people a day can meet in the central months of the university course.

The length of the branch, from its detachment from the trunk to the link roundabout, is insufficient for the traffic demand it currently supports. In addition, the elevation layout of the branch has a convex agreement that prevents an adequate perception of it, which favours the occurrence of overshoots on its arrival at the roundabout.

With this action, the length and capacity of the branch are increased, reducing the effects of congestion and the elevation layout is improved, increasing the available visibility distance, and, consequently, road safety is improved on this section of the road. A-70.

This action is included within the conservation and maintenance program of the State Road Network, in which Mitma has invested more than 130 million euros since June 2018 in the province of Alicante, and which generates a drive to improve the quality service of the existing state road infrastructure.

The saturation of the ring road of the city of Alicante, which connects the capital of the province with Elche, left a hundred victims in traffic accidents in one year. In 2019, in the 31 kilometres of this road, 64 accidents with victims were registered, in which two people lost their lives and another 101 were injured.

The A-70 has an annual average daily traffic of more than 50,000 vehicles per day throughout its route, but in the section between the access to San Vicente del Raspeig and the University of Alicante and the link with the A-31, at Mercalicante, reaches one hundred thousand. Not even the covid pandemic, which reduced traffic throughout Spain, did not allow the highway to stop being saturated. As this newspaper already published, if in July 2019 the figure of 101,617 daily vehicles was reached in the aforementioned section between the University and Mercalicante, the same month of 2020 last were 88,915.

The A-70 is the first toll-free ring road in the city of Alicante, as opposed to the second ring road, included in the AP-7 and with a conventional toll. It is the road with the greatest capacity that connects the cities of Elche and Alicante, and it is also a connection axis with other points in the province and with Murcia. Between the two municipalities, the dual carriageway has two traffic lanes in each direction, although from the so-called Camino Castilla towards Crevillent it now has three lanes in each direction.

In the vicinity of Alicante is the junction with the A-31, whose very high level of traffic causes significant traffic jams, especially on the trunk of the A-70. To increase the capacity of the highway, the authors of the report propose a third lane between Elche and Alicante, and an underpass at the University of Alicante roundabout. Both works would cost 105 million euros, as calculated by the Chamber of Commerce in a study coordinated by engineer Armando Ortuño. Access to the San Vicente Campus is an ordeal during peak hours of entry and exit to the University.

A report coordinated by the engineer Armando Ortuño for the Chamber of Commerce revealed two years ago that the province needs an urgent investment of 750 million euros to prevent the Alicante-Villena highway and the Alicante ring road, the most conflictive, from collapsing completely in the next ten years, although both already have serious congestion problems. Specifically, the “new” highways should be fully operational by 2029, when it is estimated that the A-31 will support traffic of 65,102 vehicles per day, 15% heavy, and the Alicante ring road (A-70) , 76,302 vehicles, 8.5% heavy.

The A-70 is the first toll-free ring road in the city of Alicante, as opposed to the second ring road, included in the AP-7 and with a conventional toll. It is the road with the greatest capacity that connects the cities of Elche and Alicante, and it is also a connection axis with other points in the province and with Murcia. Between the two municipalities, the dual carriageway has two traffic lanes in each direction, although from the so-called Camino Castilla towards Crevillent it now has three lanes in each direction. In the vicinity of Alicante is the junction with the A-31, whose very high level of traffic causes significant traffic jams, especially on the trunk of the A-70. To increase the capacity of the highway, the authors of the report propose a third lane between Elche and Alicante, and an underpass at the University of Alicante roundabout. Both works would cost 105 million euros. Access to the San Vicente Campus is an ordeal during peak hours of entry and exit to the University.

As for the highway that connects Alicante with Villena, one of the roads with the highest percentage of concentration of accidents in the province, it is an old national highway that was divided at the end of the 80s to turn it into a highway of those considered first generation. Traffic has exploded and the road has become old, to the point that it is difficult and dangerous to travel at more than 90 kilometres per hour. The report considers urgent the construction of a third lane in each direction between Elda and Monforte del Cid to reduce congestion problems. The project has a cost of 162 million euros.

The current rail alternative to improve mobility between Alicante and Villena and reduce road pressure on the A-31 is not operational. The conventional railway line (Iberian gauge) serves as a connection between Madrid-Alicante and Valencia-Alicante, as it runs almost parallel to the A-31 motorway. This line has stops in various towns along the corridor such as Villena, Elda or Novelda. The Ministry of Public Works put into service on October 22, 2018 the Alicante-Villena commuter line, with intermediate stops in Sax, Elda, Monóvar and Novelda with ten services in each direction, but with a frequency of 90 minutes throughout the day. An action that should benefit approximately half a million residents of the Alto and Medio Vinalopó and l’Alacantí regions, but which has not served to decongest the road.

On the other hand, the lack of maintenance suffered by the roads of the Valencian Community has caused an accident to occur practically every three hours, according to a report handled by the Ministry of Vertebration of the Territory. A total investment of 212 million euros would be necessary to set them up in Alicante, a province in which 79,000 euros per kilometre would have to be invested.

The roads support an annual traffic of 13,644 vehicles per kilometre, 36.5 million movements of cars, trucks and buses every year. The province’s road network is made up of 2,678 kilometres, of which 673 kilometres belong to the State, 979 to the Generalitat and 1,026 to the Diputación.

Other works that the authors of the report consider urgent are the duplication of the CV-95 highway between Orihuela and Torrevieja to increase capacity, reduce travel times and increase road safety. The approximate cost would be 446 million euros. Lastly, it is also planned to duplicate the Torrevieja variant, giving continuity to the sections executed to relieve congestion at a cost of 30 million euros.

The Ministry of Public Works has, on the other hand, left the necessary and demanded extension of the A-7 motorway between Alicante and Murcia in a patch because it will only build, in principle, a third lane in each direction in a section of 18 kilometres between Crevillent and Orihuela, with a total investment of 56 million euros that will also be invested until 2022. An amount that represents 15% of what had been budgeted in 2017.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) has formalised, for 1.2 million euros (VAT included), the works of modernization and improvement of the road and circulation conditions of the El Altet tunnels , El Campello, Mascarat 1 and Mascarat 2, on the N-332 road, in the province of Alicante.

The actions, included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and financed with NextGenerationEU funds, are aimed at adapting Alicante’s infrastructure to the safety and road requirements established in Royal Decree 635/2006, of May 26 , fruit of the transposition of Directive 2004/54/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council, of April 29, 2004.

Although today the tunnels have favourable operating conditions, it is necessary to carry out this action to update their facilities. The Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan has a budget of 357 million to adapt the tunnels to European regulations and to promote the protection of fauna and vulnerable users. Specifically, it will finance actions in RCE tunnels focused on improving emergency exits, signage, beaconing, lighting, ventilation, electrical installation, fire protection, drainage, communication or traffic management , etc.

Special device in Benidorm for the night of San Juan: 70 troops, and no bonfires or glass containers on the beaches

Without bonfires or glass containers and 70 troops to monitor the beaches. The Benidorm City Council, together with the Local Police and the beach concessionaire, has prepared a special device on the beaches for the night of San Juan. On Friday the coordination meeting was held, in which the extraordinary surveillance, cleaning and rescue and lifeguard services that will operate on the beaches on the night of June 23rd have been defined.

The mayor, Toni Pérez, chaired the meeting, in which, among others, the councillors of Beaches, Citizen Security, Street Cleaning and Events –Mónica Gómez, Lorenzo Martínez, José Ramón González de Zárate and Jesús Carrobles-; the Mayor of the Local Police; technicians from the area of ​​Beaches, Environment, Mobility and Citizen Security; and those responsible for the municipal Technical Services, the concession company and Civil Protection.

Pérez has indicated that “an important device is going to be deployed because we want citizens to experience the night of San Juan on our beaches with the maximum possible comfort and services, and also to guarantee that once this traditional celebration is over, in a matter of a few few hours, our sandbanks are in perfect condition, as always, to welcome the early risers”.

In order for both objectives to be met, in addition to establishing extraordinary cleaning, rescue, etc. services, “it is also very important to have citizen collaboration and that the beaches are free of people at 02:00 a.m. so that the mechanical cleaning services can carry out their work quickly and effectively”. As detailed by the mayor, the special security device will be made up of 30 local police officers on the beach, a zodiac with two other officers and the corresponding commanders.

With regard to cleaning, from 8:00 p.m. there will be staff carrying out manual cleaning tasks and distributing garbage bags among the groups of people who are on the beach. In addition, at 03:00 am, cleaning will begin with sieves, one in Levante and another in Poniente, to which a garbage collection vehicle will be added. In total, 16 people will make up the cleaning service on the night of San Juan.

During the night of San Juan, the lifeguard and rescue service will work with extended and uninterrupted hours until 3 o’clock. There will be three ambulances with medical personnel on the three beaches (in Bilbao street, Paseo de Colón and Vicente Llorca Alós avenue), to which a zodiac will be added. Levante beach will be attended by 5 lifeguards, Poniente by 6 and one in Mal Pas; so the rescue and lifeguard device will have twenty effects.

There will also be special hours for beach services. Specifically, the mayor has informed, to “make it easier for all citizens to enjoy an evening at the beach and bathing, the accessible beach points of Levante and Parque de Elche will be operational from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., so that people with mobility problems can also participate in the tradition of getting their feet wet on this magical night”. The public toilets on the beaches and the lavapiés, for their part, will be open until 03:00.

Toni Pérez recalled that “the municipal ordinance establishes that fires cannot be made on the beaches of Benidorm, so bonfires are not allowed”. In the same way, it is not allowed to access the beaches and coves with glass containers.

The Ministry of Education has already executed 55% of the Edificant Plan in Vega Baja to end "the structural barracks"

The Minister of Education, Raquel Tamarit, has taken stock of the Edificant Plan, and her conclusion is clear: “It comes to dignify the classrooms of the Vega Baja”, the region of the Valencian Community where the Generalitat invests the most. In this sense, she recalled that “in 2015 it was the territory with the most schools entirely in structural barracks, which lacked any construction project”.

In total, 185 million euros were allocated to the construction, expansion and improvement of educational centres that translate into 80 new educational centres in Vega Baja. Of these, 44 centres have already been completed since 2015 to date (49 million executed), 12 are in process (44 million) and 24 planned (92 million), she remarked on her first visit to some works since she took office as Minister just a month, the second visit to the south of the south of the Community in less than a week, after last Thursday he went to the Hurchillo school, in Orihuela, to see first-hand the projects that the school is developing in educational innovation .

“It is important because it is an example of how we are tackling an issue that is also key in Vega Baja, such as the creation of centres starting from scratch to attend to the flow of population in the region”, she pointed out, while adding that ” With this clear commitment to improving basic public services in the region, such as the network of public educational centres, we are reversing the neglect of previous governments, in addition to employing more than 4,600 people in the construction sector”.

Specifically, Tamarit has been to the new Pilar de la Horadada institute, IES Number 2, in Torre de la Horadada, where the Consell has invested 8.1 million euros to “sponge up and respond to population fluctuations” in the municipality, which until now had only one centre. In the absence of some tweaks, the minister has promised that it will be ready to accommodate 590 students on September 12 with the start of the course. “Our objective as it is not only to dignify what already existed, but also to respond to the needs”, she has insisted.

Later, the Minister went to the CEIP María Moliner, which has a budget from Education of 7.9 million for the expansion of the school, which will go from two to three lines (three 2-year-old infant classrooms, 9 of 3 to 5 years and 18 years of Primary, in addition to a dining room with capacity for 600 people in two shifts equipped with its own kitchen). According to forecasts, the work will conclude in October so that its almost 380 students can open the new school after the Christmas holidays.

“They will be two reference centres”, she assured, at the same time that she highlighted these actions as an example of good work and coordination between two administrations regardless of their political colour. It must be remembered that the Edificant Plan is a program in which the Generalitat makes the investment, while the town councils manage and carry out the works.

Among the 12 actions that are underway, he has highlighted five of them, which represent 35.2 million. It is, in addition to the IES and the CEIP of Pilar de la Horadada, the Dama de Guardamar schools in Guardamar del Segura and Amanecer de Torrevieja, which “will come into operation during the next academic year 2022-2023 saying goodbye to several decades in structural barracks” -he stated-, as well as the CEIP San Pedro Apóstol de Granja de Rocamora, in which a comprehensive reform and the construction of a classroom building for Children are being undertaken.

As for the works already completed from 2015 to date in 44 centres, it has highlighted four new centres (24.4 million): two in Orihuela, the IES Playa Flamenca and the CEIP Playas de Orihuela, and another two in Rojales, the IES La Encantá and the CEIP Miguel Hernández. “The first three were totally in structural barracks”, he has influenced.

Of the works being planned in 24 centres, 17 actions are already delegated to the municipalities with an investment of 43.2 million, to which 41.5 are added for the construction of another five: the sixth institute and the twelfth school in Torrevieja; a new school in Orihuela Costa and the demolition and construction of the CEIP Virgen de la Puerta, in Orihuela, as well as the future CIPFP in Guardamar del Segura.

However, in Torrevieja, the Department is pending a tender for the demolition and construction works of the CEIP Inmaculada Concepción, a process that the department assumed in its entirety as it was considered a priority.

Tamarit, who during the visit has been accompanied by the general director of Educational Infrastructures of the Conselleria, Víctor García, and the mayor of Pilar de la Horadada, José María Pérez, has emphasised the IES Number 2, on a plot of 15,000 square metres, will solve the high percentage of students that until now had to assume the IES Thiar. It has four Baccalaureate classrooms, Science and Technology laboratories, different workshops for Vocational Training studies, a cafeteria, a gym, two sports courts, a games area, a covered area in a playground, a school garden, a garden area and a car park for centre staff.

For its part, the new CEIP María Moliner will be divided into three blocks: a two-story building for administration, general services, dining room, kitchen, gym and changing rooms; a Primary classroom with 18 classrooms, of which 10 are located on the ground floor and 8 on the upper floor, and another Infant block that is divided by a patio with porches.

In addition, it will have a playground for Primary students and another for Infants, a covered area in the playground, two sports courts, a school garden, a garden area, an area for unloading kitchen goods and garbage collection and a parking area for Centre staff vehicles.



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