Monday 16th May 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article – Carlos López
The Ministry of Ecological Transition has given Xàbia Council a 15-year concession for the construction of the new bridge on Calle Génova, a decision that has become known during the approval of conditions imposed by the regional government to the local council to allow it to build this new infrastructure in the public maritime-terrestrial domain of the Gorgos riverbed.
Whilst all parties have accepted the conditions of the approval of the project, the local government in Xàbia has provided a municipal report that has requested an extension to the concession by another 15 years, making it 30 years in total.
During a debate on the proposal to build a new bridge over the Gorgos to link Calle Génova to Calle Manuel Bordes Valles, the opposition brought up the lack of a solution to the historical problem of Calle Génova and its lack of connection with the Arenal, or even the connection to Vía Augusta to Avenida del Pla. The councillor responsible for Town Planning, Pepa Gisbert, explained that “we are approving an authorization to build a bridge and from now on, we have to put out to tender the drafting phase of the project before the actual construction phase begins”.
In the debate on the proposal, the opposition has brought up the lack of a solution to the historical problem of Génova Street and its lack of connection with Arenal or even the connection of Vía Augusta with Pla Avenue. In fact, the Councilor for Urban Planning, Pepa Gisbert, has tried to cut off these debates in vain “we are approving an authorization to build a bridge, from now on we have to put out to tender the drafting of the project and then the work”.
The expropriation of the end of Calle Génova “underway”
Enrique Escrivá (C’S), Rosa Cardona (PP) and Juan Cardona (Compromís) have all criticized the talk of a new bridge when the expropriation file that has been dragging on for some years has not yet been resolved.
Escrivá asked “since you have said that this bridge will allow traffic to be reorganized in the area, I would like to know how that file is doing”, while the Cardona went further by pointing out that once again “we have started building a house with the roof” and she has already indicated that, in her opinion, “the first thing would be to finish the Via Augusta whose exit to Avenida del Pla is a ravine and thus connect the town, the Port and the Arenal”.
Pepa Gisbert claimed that she had signed the order to start the expropriation file and that she has met “twice” in recent weeks with the owners of the house at the end of Calle Génova, adding that “we cannot talk about other things” because “until the bridge is built” there will be no reorganization of traffic.
Mayor José Chulvi explained that this reorganization will be done according to the indications of the Mobility Plan -which, as the councilor has pointed out in the course of the debate, has already been approved by the Ministry – but he added that “if you eliminate one direction (in reference to the Primer Montañar), the logical thing would be for the other (street) to go in the other direction. In plain language, this would mean that Calle Génova street would change its direction of travel from Port-Arenal to Arenal-Port.
But Chulvi has added “everything must be seen as a whole” and what the local police authotities say will have to be taken into account, whose reports on the semi-pedestrianization of the Primer Montañar and connectivity are still waiting by both PP and C’s.
Regarding the term of the concession, the spokesman for Compromís, Juan Cardona, has expressed his concern and hope that Costas will renew it “and not make us throw it away.” Cardona has also demanded greater participation – the umpteenth time that the opposition parties have raised it in full – “we would have liked this project to go through commission and thus be able to ask questions of the technicians.”
Gisbert said that the deadline to confirm the conditions was Tuesday 17th May and last week municipal technicians were analyzing the documentation provided by Costas and the Ministry. “Go to a commission, rule and then plenary, the deadline passes us,” she concluded.