The Torrox tunnel is one of the nine that will be improved. / EUGENIO CABEZAS

Contracts worth 26.4 million euros awarded to improve safety of A-7 tunnels along the coast

The tunnels to be improved are those of Cerrado, San José, Churriana, San Pedro, Capistrano, Tablazo, Frigiliana, Lagos and Torrox. The works will be phased, to minimise traffic delays, and are expected to take three years

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ

A study carried out by the then Ministry of Development (now Transport) at the time placed Malaga as the Spanish province with the most tunnels in the State road network with safety deficiencies.

The province, tied with the Asturias, accounted for 21 of the 113 locations in which it was considered necessary to make improvements in terms of fire detection and extinction, emergency and evacuation exits, ventilation, signage, drainage and lighting to comply with EU guidelines, before 2019.

Although Spain is late to comply and has been exposed to a possible fine, the safety improvement works should soon be starting in Malaga. As well as the dozen tunnels located on the AP-7 coastal toll road, on which the concession company has been working, central government is now accelerating the project to undertake the improvements in nine tunnels on the A-7 as it passes through the province. To try to minimise the impact on traffic, they will be implemented progressively and in phases over the next three years.

The total investment will be 26.4 million euros and be financed with EU funds.

The tunnels to be improved are those of Cerrado, San José, Churriana, San Pedro, Capistrano, Tablazo, Frigiliana, Lagos and Torrox.

Distributed into three lots, the General Directorate of Roads has just awarded the contracts for the works, which includes the improvement of the San José and Cerrado de Calderón tunnels in Malaga city with a budget of 7.48 million euros.

The work on the five tunnels on the section of the A-7 that runs through the Axarquia: Capistrano, Tablazo, Frigiliana, Lagos and Torrox will cost 15.19 million euros. And, finally, the improvements on the Churriana and San Pedro Alcántara tunnels will cost 3.7 million.