Approaching Torrevieja during the previous widening work

As many local councils are about to become extinct, others are starting to analyse exactly what benefits they will get from the recent budget announcements by the national government of Spain.

The latest positive news to come out of this pre-election spending spree is another 400,000 euro to go towards revisiting the halted plans to widen the N323 main road as it passes through Torrevieja, an infamous bottleneck and the site of countless accidents.

After seven years without progress, or seven years in which the residents and visitors of Torrevieja have had to endure the delays caused by the busiest city on the stretch of road having the least amount of road space to cope with the traffic flow, the volumes of which are the greatest in the entire area.

As for the local council, spokesperson for the ruling PP government, Joaquín Albaladejo, has said that the project must now start from scratch, in order to take into account the changing needs of the city. These new plans, which therefore render any work already carried out as a waste of time, effort and money, must include the provision of storm drains for example, which will obviously mean more land being required for the project than the potentially simpler widening scheme. Millions have already been spent on various storm drains along the route, none of which have actually managed to prevent the flooding that many residents experience during the heavier downpours.

The announcements also failed to take into account the potential changes that the future rail network might bring, along with the proposed bus and train interchange, although the bus service had previously been amended in the city to take into account the new market and leisure complex near to the water park, even long before those plans were halted, thus forcing a return to the previously operational route.

Quite when the project will be realised is yet to be seen, but it is clear that an amount of money has been set aside, although will that money be enough to start the project “from scratch”, and then where will the money come from to actually go about widening the road into the neighbouring land, thus finally evolving the N-332 and Torrevieja into a viable route for trade, tourism and traffic for future generations.

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