The Councillor for Development, Infrastructure and Territorial Planning, Marifrán Carazo, has visited the construction work on the La Concepción-A7 section of the Almanzora dual carriageway and announced that it is progressing at a good pace and is already 20 percent complete. In three years, the Andalusian Regional Government has invested 49,654,854 euros to complete what will be the main corridor linking the so-called marble region of Almeria with the Mediterranean Motorway (A-7).
Marifrán Carazo, accompanied by the general director of Infrastructures, Enrique Catalina, and the delegate of Public Works in Almería, Eloísa Cabrera, recalled that the current Andalusian government has given a boost to this infrastructure, with the execution and completion of the El Cucador-La Concepción section, which was finished last autumn, and the start last summer of the key section for the connection with the A-7.
The councillor emphasised that “it has been demonstrated with facts that Juanma Moreno’s government was serious when it said two and a half years ago that it would complete the works on the Almanzora Highway in Almería, as it is a strategic project”. Furthermore, Marifrán Carazo reiterated that the new Andalusian government is working “seriously and rigorously”. “No more false promises, which have been made for lustrums since the mid-eighties,” she added.
The section under construction, which was awarded at the end of July 2021 to the joint venture formed by the construction companies San José, Eiffage and Pérez Jiménez for 24 million euros, has a length of 3.6 kilometres and a completion period of 22 months.
Along the route, it is necessary to build two new junctions, located at the beginning and at the end of the section. The first will be located at kilometre 3.2 of the new dual carriageway to facilitate access to the new photovoltaic plant and the districts of La Concepción and El Palacés, and will be of the diamond type with weights (roundabouts). The last junction serves as a connection between the new A-334 dual carriageway and the A-7, with a more complex typology, as it also includes the connection of the AL-7106 with both dual carriageways and with the service area located on the right-hand carriageway (towards Murcia) of the A-7. The route crosses the Barranco del Muerto ravine by means of a 45-metre viaduct.
During these months, clearing, excavation, clearing and backfilling work has been carried out on the trunk of the new dual carriageway, the five transversal drainage works planned for the trunk have been completed and progress is being made on the construction of two structures on the trunk: the aforementioned Barranco del Muerto and the one located on the Vereda de la Cuesta Blanca.
In structure E-8 (Vereda de la Cuesta Blanca), both the two abutments and the two piles of the overpass are almost completely concreted, so the beams will be placed shortly, while in structure E-9 (Barranco del Muerto) the construction of the breakwater foundations on which the two abutments will rest has been completed, and the reinforced earth is being laid.
In addition, the provisional enclosure fence is being put up on the margins of the A-7 dual carriageway, so that, once it is in place, the existing fence can be dismantled and work can be carried out in the areas of the junction and overlap with the dual carriageway, and work has also begun on replanting tree species (in this case, olive trees), which have been transplanted to various areas of the previous section, following the corresponding authorisations.
The Almanzora dual carriageway was conceived in 1986, when its route was included in the General Road Plan for Andalusia as a section connecting the Mediterranean dual carriageway with the Seville-Granada dual carriageway, although without specific investment in various sections or a timetable. It was not until 2005 that the first stone was laid for this infrastructure, which was included in successive infrastructure plans with a commitment to its completion.
Far from completing the works, the Andalusian regional government included the Almanzora motorway in its adjustment plan to reduce the public deficit in 2010. In March 2012 the contract was signed, through a public-private partnership, for the construction, maintenance and operation of the section between Purchena and the A-7. The contract included the maintenance for 30 years from the start of the works of all the sections between Purchena and the A-7, those already in service and those which were then in the construction phase awarded to other companies. Years later, in 2018, the previous socialist government of the Junta took the political decision to terminate the contract with a compensation of 16.6 million euros.