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Regeneration work on beaches in the eastern area of Malaga (file image). SUR
Record contract agreed to top up sand on Costa del Sol beaches, and these are the stretches that will benefit
Infrastructure

Record contract agreed to top up sand on Costa del Sol beaches, and these are the stretches that will benefit

Work to improve the shorelines will take place in 14 holiday destinations along the Malaga province coast, from Nerja to Manilva

Chus Heredia

Malaga

Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 10:16

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Beaches along the entire Costa del Sol - from Nerja to Manilva - will benefit from new sand, and upgrades to old pipes, walls and breakwaters under a new two-million-euro improvement plan. Central government has unveiled the plan which is the largest investment to improve Malaga beaches in decades, apart from emergency works after storms.

The Malaga province coastline is in the midst of regression, mainly due to the lack of inflows from rivers. When these are regulated ( for example, by reservoirs) or channelled, the sediment load decreases. This, combined with the development of housing, has caused the government to act, with it awarding two large contracts for the work - one for the eastern and the other for the western coast.

The contractor is Hermanos Pérez Garrán, based in Alhaurín de la Torre, which also specialises in maintenance of watercourses and streams, and in excavations. The contract is valued at just over two million euros, with a completion period of six months. The double contract has been a long time coming, with it being in the pipeline since at least March last year.

Once the agreement is signed, some work will start before summer, while other projects will be postponed, so as not to interfere with the high tourist season.

Extensive reach

According to the plans, there will be work along the entire coastline, which covers some 169 kilometres and 14 municipalities (Nerja, Torrox, Algarrobo, Vélez-Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria, Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, Estepona, Manilva and Casares). Work will involve contributions of new sand; demolition of old structures such as pipes, walls or breakwaters; dune regeneration; collection of contributions from rivers and other environments such as quarries or harbour channels.

The project is promoted by the secretary of state for the environment and has European funding, and is linked to the recovery, transformation and resilience plan.

Malaga city and Axarquia

Meanwhile, the contract for the eastern coast, for which eight companies competed, has a budget of 801,831 euros and will cover the beaches of Malaga city. Among the possible places to receive new sand are the Benamargosa river, the Íberos stream (Cajiz), the mouth of the Guadalhorce, the Torrox river, the Chíllar and the Vélez. The other contributions are the result of balancing areas of beaches with an excess and others with a shortage, or of inlets such as the port of El Candado.

The beaches where work is expected to happen are El Palo, Pedregalejo, Algarrobo, Candado, Malagueta, Playazo, Torrecilla, Rincón, Elimar, Valle-Niza, Benajarafe, Ferrara, Chucho, Guadalmar, Llanos, Ferrara, El Morche, Benagalbón, Los Rubios, Torre del Mar and Chilches.

From Torremolinos to Manilva

The contract between Torremolinos and Manilva, which had seven bidders, is valued at 1.28 million euros. Costas has detected possible contributions of sand from the river in Fuengirola; the Guadalmina river in Marbella; in Estepona, the Velerín, Castor, Padrón, Guadalmansa or the Albejeras stream, or in Mijas, the area of Entrerríos. The port of Benalmádena is another possible source.

Among the beaches where work is expected are El Bombo, Cala Mijas, Cabopino, Las Chapas, Santa Ana, Cable, Pinillo, Guadalmina, La Rada, San Pedro, Castillo, Sabinillas, Playamar, Bajondillo, Malapesquera and Manilva.

The western contract also includes the demolition of structures, which periodically surface during storms. There is also dune and riverbank regeneration, cleaning and clearing, removal of asbestos pipes and environmental quality controls.

All the sand will be duly screened and the sand from river beds and streams as well as from quarries and ports will have the appropriate granulometry conditions. Both projects have been drafted by Jesús Santos and directed by Manuel Béjar and were technically approved in January 2023.

This is a different plan to the annual work to deal with storm emergencies, which involved an investment of 2.2 and 1.3 million euros respectively over the past two financial years.

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