Ibiza News: New roads to Sant Miquel and Sant Joan

November 7th, 2008 - 5:44 pm Posted in ibiza news | Comments (0)

Ibiza’s Island Councillor for Mobility, Albert Prats (Eivissa per Canvi, ExC) presented plans for restructuring the roads to Sant Miquel and Sant Joan in November. They call for the widening of both and repaving with better quality asphalt. They will also include a new bike lane separated from the traffic lanes by a ditch and wooden crash barriers. Prats does not expect construction to be completed on the project before 2011. The Spanish central government will be covering the total costs, which are expected to run about 32 million euros.

At the project announcement Prats said, “These will be the first highways on Ibiza with a separate bike lane.” For the road to Sant Miquel the bike lanes, planned to be two and a half metres wide, will run parallel to the main road for almost all of its length. “Due to the more dense construction along the road to Sant Joan the bike lane will have to deviate significantly from the road itself in many locations,” he further stated. “The bike lanes will not be paved along their entire lengths, however, they will be clearly marked.”

The country roads will be widened and improved along a total length of 24.7 kilometres. 13.4 of these are the section to Sant Joan; the other 11.3 are on the section to Sant Miquel. The roads both have approximately 5,700 vehicles using them every day. After the work is complete both roads will measure 14 metres across, including the bike lanes.

The Island Council is also planning to build six roundabouts along the 13 kilometres to Sant Joan, with an additional two for the 11 kilometre stretch to Sant Miquel. Prats also said, “We are not planning to expropriate any homes.” However he did admit that this would occur with property along the course of the road. “We aim to conduct a transparent expropriation process. We will not repeat the mistakes of the past.” This was clearly in reference to the expropriations that occurred with the construction of the motorways.

Prats expects that construction can be started at the end of 2009. “We’ve been given a green light from the environmental commission of the Balearic Islands Ministry of the Environment.” They are planning 18 months construction time for the road to Sant Joan and 16 months for the road to Sant Miquel. “In any event the roads will not be completed before 2011.”

In further road news, the construction of right-turning lanes on the roundabout near the convention centre should be completed more quickly. These will save drivers the wait on the roundabout from the flyover near Jesus to the road to Sant Antoni. The Balearic Islands government has approved a project to build a separate traffic lane around the roundabout. The same concept will apply to a second right-turning lane near the convention centre (Recinto Ferial). So drivers who want to turn off to Ibiza town will not need to use the roundabout. The regional government expects that the 652.000 euros project will be completed in time for the 2009 summer season.

Additionally, signing-off on the road construction plan (Convenio de Carreteras) is still pending. After a meeting with the Spanish Minister for Infrastructure, Magdalena Alvarez (Social Democrats, PSOE), the leader of the Balearic Islands government, Francesc Antich (Social Democrats, PSOE), said that both parties would sign the document before the end of the year. The road construction plan would secure investments for Ibiza and Formentera from Madrid for a total of 68.8 million euros till the year 2014.

cova can marca
Can Marca cave

The Balearic Islands Ministry of the Environment is contemplating a new designation for protection of ‘geological interest’. According to Environmental Minister Miquel Angel Grimalt (Unio Mallorquina) ministry specialists have already compiled a list of twenty such natural treasures. In November he said, “The plans have not yet been finalised, as I expect there will still be revisions to the plans.” The primary goal for the ministry is to protect areas from human intervention that are insufficiently or totally unprotected from irreparable damage.

The current list includes fifteen natural areas on Ibiza and five on Formentera. The regional government wants to protect the following areas ‘of geological interest': the cave at Can Marca, the es Cavallet dunes, Sa Talaia mountain and the headlands near Pou des Lleo. Formentera’s sites include the s’Estany des Peix inland sea, La Mola and Cap de Barbaria.

After final cataloguing of sites there will be a decision on what sort of protection they should receive. “Our competencies as regional government are limited,” Grimalt explained, “we only have the standard protection categories of natural park, nature reserve and natural monument.”

Meanwhile the Ministry of the Environment has already started the first part of its reforestation programme after the motorway construction. In sa Coma, on the road from Ibiza to Sant Antoni not far from the Hipercenter shopping centre, they plan to return the landscape to its original condition in two phases. During motorway construction the area was used for the production of asphalt. In mid-November a spokesperson for the ministry stated that the first step would be to restore the soil in the hardest hit areas. Afterwards they plan to plant 95 trees, “52 carob and 43 almond trees, both specimens endemic to Ibiza.”

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