Just in time for Malaga's mammoth August feria festivities, a big city centre remodelling project was partially opened this week.
The northern and southern sides of the wide Alameda boulevard, between El Corte Inglés and Calle Larios, have been pedestrianised with new greenery and street furniture. The central carriageways have been narrowed and are reserved mostly for use by buses.
The multi-milion-euro project has returned much of the original character of the avenue that dates from the end of the eighteenth century when it was a favourite place for the people of Malaga for their 'paseo' evening stroll, before modern traffic volumes drove them away.
The work has been sped up for the August holidays, but is only 78 per cent finished, said the city hall, and the outstanding sections should be ready "by Christmas".
Businesses along the Alameda were relieved on Wednesday that the construction workers are moving out after four years of upheaval, which has also been linked to extending the metro line under the north side.
The recently-restored Marquis of Larios statue has also had extra, last-minute pieces added this week. It has a marble image on the pedestal of a baby being held up, in representation of the city thanking him for his good works. However until this week, for many decades the child has been missing an arm as well as the laurel branch it was handing upwards.
The bronze of the nineteenth century industrialist has moved several metres to look straight down Calle Larios, which the Marquis paid for.