There will be a new connection between Benalmádena and Torremolinos before too long. The mayors of the two municipalities signed an agreement at a press conference earlier this week to build a bridge which will link the adjoining areas of La Leala Norte and El Pinillo, which are on the boundary between the two and separated by the Saltillo stream.
This announcement marked the start of a project in which the first step will be to draw up the technical report which establishes the works to be carried out, the cost and the time it will take to connect the northern part of the two municipalities.
The mayors said they had made the decision to build the bridge in response to the fact that people in La Leala and El Pinillo have been calling for a connection of this type for a very long time.
"There have been numerous requests over the years; it is something which is needed and people have been waiting for it for a long time. When we were in opposition I personally knocked on doors and listened to what people had to say about this," said José Ortíz, the mayor of Torremolinos. He also explained that in 2015, when he became mayor, one of the first visits he made was to that area, and so did Victor Navas.
"We had both included this in our electoral campaigns and finally the bridge between Torremolinos and Benalmádena will now become reality. It will benefit more than 2,000 local people," said Ortíz.
"The time when Torremolinos was isolated and separate from everywhere else has changed now. That ended three years ago. Our priority is what is good for the residents of our municipalities," he continued. "We are working with the administrations to get the best for our towns, and that is why we are building this bridge across a gap which is barely 20 metres wide, to make life better for the people of Torremolinos and Benalmádena".
The mayor of Benalmádena, Víctor Navas, described the agreement as a historic day for the two municipalities. "We are going to provide a solution to something which has been a problem for several decades. This bridge will link the two municipalities at a point in La Leala which has been cut off until now. This was a commitment which José Ortíz and I both made during our election campaigns," he said.
Navas also warned that the bridge would not be built immediately. "The project is only just beginning now after a complicated process, because we are two different councils and we have had to coordinate the work in order to get this far".
"Now, we have to draw up the plans, and then look for financing, so it could take time," he said. He also revealed that the two town halls have already carried out studies which indicate that the project is likely to cost around 1.3 million euros.
Both Ortíz and Navas pointed out that the bridge will make it easier for pedestrians to walk between a commercial area (La Leala) and a residential one (El Pinillo). It will be safe for pedestrians and will also give people from El Pinillo fast access to the motorway. It will also help to reduce traffic on the other connecting roads, where there are often delays, and will "develop synergies" between the two municipalities. This will be positive for them both, and will boost their local economies, both mayors said.