More details have been emerging of how Malaga city council proposes to implement the complicated building work in its plan to put the entire west to east coastal road through the city centre underground, and so free up space for more gardens and pedestrianisation.
The ambitious project is called Plan Málaga Litoral (Malaga shoreline plan) and, if given the go ahead, would cost over 400 million euros.
As well as fulfilling the long-held ambition of linking the Plaza de la Marina, by the tourist office, with the newly developed port area, it would allow new bus and coach stations to be built in the city: under Plaza de la Marina itself and under the entrance to the city's main railway station. A large underground parking area would also be built by the entrance to the port.
A report carried out by ARCS, consultants working on the detailed plan for the town hall, estimates that the building work will generate 2,500 jobs, but it also warns that construction on this scale would inevitably cause, "inconvenience and different types of negative impact on a wide range of people; local residents, shopkeepers, hoteliers, delivery drivers, children and young people, people with mobility restrictions etc".
No phased implementation
The consultants urge careful planning to limit the inconvenience, but they recommend carrying out the work in one go and not dividing it into phases, in order to avoid, "having to build temporary access roads that would have a further impact on traffic and city life".
Starting from the west, the first road to be affected would be Avenida Manuel Agustín Heredia - the traffic along this busy route along the dock wall by the Soho district would be diverted onto the quayside itself.
The current bus station on this avenue, where buses can be caught to destinations around Malaga province and the Costa, would be temporarily moved to in front of the Port Authority office, opposite Plaza de la Marina. Eventually, this bus station would be put underground at Plaza de la Marina itself.
Traffic running along this portside route would then be temporarily rerouted during the works along the Paseo del Parque, by the town hall, while the Paseo de las Curas road immediately between the tropical gardens and the port was also put underground.
Finally, there would be diversions in the La Malagueta area between Muelle Uno and the beach to allow the Avenida de Cánovas main road through that district to be placed underground.
It is hoped that the work can go out to tender in 2024.