Circular North of Loulé with completion in sight after the Government “gives” section of EN270 to City Hall

For many municipalities, it would be a poisoned gift. But for Loulé, no. The Loulé Chamber assumed the competence to build with […]

For many municipalities, it would be a poisoned gift. But for Loulé, no. The Loulé Town Council assumed the competence of constructing with its own means the costly connection work between the Querença roundabout, next to the Municipal Pavilion, and the Barreiras Brancas roundabout, which will allow the completion of the city's North Circular.

The protocol for the transfer of the management of part of the ER270, the former National Road linking Fonte de Boliqueime to Tavira, and the section of the 1st phase of the Variante was signed this Thursday, during the ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the elevation of Loulé the city, where the Secretary of State for Infrastructures Guilherme d' Oliveira Martins was present. In practice, this road passed from Infraestruturas de Portugal to the municipality of Loulé.

The City Council is thus empowered to intervene in a 16-kilometre stretch of the ER270, between the Boliqueime junction of the A22 and the border between Loulé and São Brás de Alportel. It also gains responsibility for the «management, maintenance and repair of the land occupied by the road and its functional elements, such as, among others, the carriageway, the shoulders, bridges and viaducts, road signaling equipment, road safety and environmental protection, lighting infrastructures».

A solution that the municipality applauds, despite the conclusion of the Circular Norte being "a heavy investment", in the order of 3,3 million euros. However, this expense will allow «to fulfill a dream of the council: the conclusion of the Circular Norte», guaranteed the mayor of Loulé Vitor Aleixo.

«Thank God, the municipality of Loulé is doing well financially and we don't need the money from the Central Government. We just needed the agreement we signed today, so that we could solve the problem ourselves. We are going to consciously and with a sense of responsibility, assume what would be a competence of the Central Administration», summarized the mayor from Loulé.

In question, there is a section of less than two kilometers, but which ends up having a fundamental importance in the functionality of this circular. It's just that, without him, whoever arrives in Loulé, coming from Faro, you are always obliged to enter the city, if you want to take the main roads that give access to both the northern part of the county and the western part.

As explained by Joaquim Farrajota, responsible for this project, the section to be built is about 1,7 kilometers long. It connects the roundabout at Querença, at one end of the already completed part of the ring road, to the west, and the roundabout at Barreiras Brancas, on the outskirts of the city, at the exit for São Brás de Alportel, which connects to the roundabouts near the mainland and near the Fonte da Pipa Palace, which marks the entrance to the city, for those coming from Faro.

In this section, unlike what happens between the Industrial Zone of Loulé and the roundabout next to the Municipal Pavilion, there will only be one lane in each direction. The idea is to implement an artery “with urban characteristics”, which gives space to both car circulation and smooth mobility, namely bicycles and pedestrians. For this, a cycle path "with a width of 2,6 meters" and a pedestrian area "of 2,4 meters" will be built. Separate the lanes, there will be “a green zone”.

The project foresees the construction of two new roundabouts, «one in Barreiras Brancas, the other in Pedragosa, starting from the center of the city», explained Joaquim Farrajota.

On the sidelines of the session, Vítor Aleixo said he was satisfied with the solution found and guaranteed that the work is to advance as quickly as possible, although he cannot yet advance dates.

“We are at the project completion stage. after these are finalized and approved, we will have to negotiate land, which is a time-consuming part. Afterwards, we will open a public tender for the execution of the work, but I still cannot say when. But I think we will be in a position to establish a calendar for the work in a few months time», explained the mayor of Loulé.

When it is finally completed, the new section of the ring road will help Loulé to become «even more competitive, in the context of the cities of the Algarve».

In the same session in which the protocol between IP and the Loulé municipality was signed, the Chamber also presented the project for the 2nd phase of Avenida do Atlântico, at the entrance of Quarteira, which provides for the redevelopment of another section of the EN396, in this case, between the city limits and the roundabout at Vila Sol, in Semino.

And, taking advantage of the presence of Guilherme de Oliveira Martins and the president of IP, Loulé released a study, "which for now is just an idea", for the creation of an intermodal hub at Parque das Cidades, centered on the Railway Station there. existing.