Last Updated on September 2, 2020 by Richard Archer
WORK ON THE TUNNEL TO COMPLETE THE RING ROAD BETWEEN SANTIAGO DEL TEIDE AND EL TANQUE BEGINS NEXT MONTH
This is largest public work to be carried out in Tenerife and one of the largest in Spain, where for nine months a large operation of machines and workers will be in Santiago del Teide, the starting point of the works to link the ring-road, the infrastructure that will connect the North and the South of the island, and will mean a revolution in mobility on the Island, and help to relieve traffic on the TF-5.
The works, with a budget of more than 240 million euros, financed entirely by the central government and a forecast of four years to complete, will face its toughest obstacle from next month, the drilling of the Teno Massif to build the Erjos tunnel, 5.1 kilometres long, one of the longest in the country and the focal point of this complex 11.3 kilometre route between Santiago del Teide and El Tanque.
The mayor of Santiago del Teide, Emilio Navarro, spoke yesterday about the speed at which the work is progressing. “It is being executed at a good pace, the truth is that it is quite advanced”, although he acknowledged that the imminent tunnel work will generate some discomfort in his municipality.
“Drilling will be a more annoying activity for the core of Santiago del Teide and will generate a greater movement of vehicles and heavy traffic”, although he stressed that the main objective is to maintain the rhythm and the planned deadlines and conclude the connection of the North and the South by the end of 2023,” so that it can improve the island’s mobility and, therefore, the economy.”
The mayors of El Tanque, Los Silos, Garachico, Buenavista and Icod have expressed their satisfaction with the beginning of the work on the Erjos tunnel, as it will mean “leaving aside a road from the last century”, such as the TF- 82, for a “decent route.”
NUMBER OF LANES:
In addition to having a safer and higher capacity road than the TF-82, it will save drivers more than 45 minutes compared to the old road. Currently, going from Santiago del Teide to El Tanque can take between 25 and 35 minutes, but when the work is finished the journey will be made in just 10 at an average speed of approximately 120 kmh, although the latter will depend on the number of lanes outside the tunnel.
Initially there were two ascending and one descending, but an attempt is being made to modify the project so that there are two in each direction, a commitment that the General Directorate acquired with the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín.
Once this section is finished, it will attract a daily average of between 27,500 and 29,000 vehicles from the North region of Tenerife to the South because the current level of saturation of the road is 30,000 daily cars.
While the work lasts, there will be no changes in the circulation that affect the citizens, because the movements of earth from one side to the other will be carried out through the tunnel to avoid endless queues.
The complexity of this infrastructure not only lies in the execution but in the difficulties it had to overcome: lack of agreement on expropriations; deadline errors in the awards with the consequent suspensions at the start of the works;
environmental impact statements against the clock; annex works; signatures against some tranches; changes of governments in the competent administrations; and some other ‘forgetfulness’
(such as getting the tender for the “control and surveillance of the execution of the works of the third lane of the TF-1, in its section San Isidro-Las Américas, link of Las Chafiras” on time, in San Miguel de Abona.
Disadvantages that were overcome, but that slowed down for more than a decade, the project that will represent a before and after in the mobility of Tenerife by allowing the two extremes to be connected.
After several years of waiting, it seems… that there is light at the end of the tunnel!