Government cuts to delay progress on Malaga’s main infrastructure projects

Work on the major infrastructure projects under way in the province of Malaga is soon to feel the effects of the government cutbacks. If during the first couple of years of the downturn public works helped keep the province’s economy afloat, the situation looks set to change. On Wednesday the Minister of Development José Blanco announced where he would make his cutbacks, which amount to savings of some 3,200 million euros on a national level

Experts are certain that the cutbacks will mean delays for the projects that are considered “the least urgent” in Malaga, which include the airport’s second runway, the high speed rail line with Granada, the A-7 from Nerja to Almeria and the San Pedro Tunnel.

Nevertheless the same experts believe that the cuts will not affect other projects considered as more urgent to such as great extent. These include the completion of the out ring road (as here work is almost complete), the widening of the Ronda Este to three lanes, the tunnel to take the Cercanías train service to its new underground station in Terminal 3 of the airport and the southern access road to the airport from the A-7. The new Las Pedrizas toll motorway will not be affected by the cuts as this is a privately funded venture.

The Government’s savings plan will also mean that the announced schemes will not get off the ground as soon as expected. These include the bus lane between Malaga and Torremolinos and the railway tunnel for the goods trains that go into Malaga Port. What’s more the experts agree that the future of the proposed coastline train is now more uncertain.

As far as the second runway at the airport is concerned, the experts believe that the delay of around a year (according to the minister’s calculations) is reasonable given that the recession as caused a fall in the numbers of flights and passengers. They consider the improvements to road and train communications with the airport as more of a priority, however.

Author: Ignacio Lillo. Article first published in the Sur in English May 21st

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