Four works combined will be “the key” to end the recurring traffic jams on the Autopista del Norte, the TF-5, at the height of La Laguna. All of them are expected to be up and running next year. It is the third lane between Guamasa and Aguere, the municipal bypass, the underground of the TF-24, the La Esperanza road (already started) and the new footbridge at the Padre Anchieta roundabout. This is indicated by the Minister of Mobility and Roads, Enrique Arriaga, during the forum organized on the present and future of this area on the Island by Prensa Ibérica, the newspaper’s publishing company. The Day / The Opinion of Tenerife with the collaboration of the Cabildo Highways area. The two island directors, Tomás Félix García and José Alberto León, accompanied the director when he spoke.
“In the La Laguna bypass we have changed the initial approach and practically the entire route goes by tunnel, it will be buried”, point out the insular head of Roads to add: “The cost is higher, but the impact is less and it also complies with everything that marks us Aena». This project will go to public information in December, Arriaga points out. Therefore, the forecast is that the work will begin in late 2022 or early 2023.
The work of the third lane in the section between Guamasa and the airport (first phase) will also begin in 2022. Related to the project of the Bus HOV lanes being drafted. Arriaga insists that “we have 850,000 cars and to that we must add that with the pandemic there is fear of sharing it.” To solve this, “we have to eliminate cars from the road and we can only do this by increasing the capacity of the road so that everyone can move and does not form a traffic jam.” That is why the third lane between Guamasa and Los Rodeos is essential.
The burying of the La Esperanza highway, the TF-24, in its connection with the TF-5 is already underway. It is a key work whose purpose is to also prevent the eternal traffic jams at the height of Father Anchieta. It has a tender budget of nine million euros to prevent traffic to Santa Cruz from passing through the roundabout.
The work on the Padre Anchieta catwalk will begin shortly, a matter that from Carreteras is valued as a «fundamental work». Arriaga assures: «It is a heart roundabout and I warn that the statue of Father Anchieta in principle disappears from there». He emphasizes that there are two options for the statue that must be moved shortly and “carefully due to its state of disrepair.” One is for it to be placed at some point in the new roundabout and the other for it to be installed in the Cruz de Piedra area near the university campus where it has already been ”. The counselor informs that “two shortcuts will be made and the time spent in the area will be reduced.” With a budget of 8.8 million euros, the works for the construction of the pedestrian walkway were awarded to the company Obras Huarte Lain SA. The president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, stressed that “these works will contribute to decongesting one of the busiest points around the TF-5, such as the entrance to La Laguna.” The first vice president and counselor for Roads recalls: “It is a strategic infrastructure for the island’s mobility.” The forecast indicates that it could be completed in a year and a half. The flyover will give agility to this important connection and main entrance way to La Laguna, since it will avoid the constant stop at the roundabout by giving an alternative passage to pedestrians. The project to be executed is a continuous curved beam in the shape of a ring of approximately 100 meters in diameter, supported by a system of specific supports, with a square attached to the current car park of the Faculty of Biology and a total length of the ring of about 314 meters. This project has been awarded the 2019 National Innovation and Design Awards.
Regarding the possible linkage of the University of La Laguna (ULL) With the circulatory chaos, Arriaga clarifies that “it is not a simple issue.” “There are 20,000 students and many with a car,” says the island vice president who proposes: “Perhaps it could be established that only high-occupancy vehicles, at least with more than two people, could park in the ULL car parks.” Another idea to improve circulation are the preferred corridors for buses around the La Laguna Interchange to alleviate recurring traffic jams, especially in the early afternoon. In principle, it will start from the Guajara area but the idea is that it starts in the HUC.
“All the new actions form a global puzzle”, comments Arriaga before concluding with the reference to another strategic work: “The insular ring advances with sections where work is already done and others in public information. We have tackled San Juan de La Rambla-Los Realejos with a layout study that the Government of the Canary Islands will deliver to us before the end of the year ». Because “we cannot wait another ten years to complete work of such transcendence”, concludes the island councilor.