The traffic It has become, without a doubt, one of the great problems that it currently has. Tenerifebringing citizens and administrations upside down, from which different projects have been announced or started, especially in recent months, to try to solve this issue.
One of the most saturated sections of the Island, and which thousands of drivers suffer daily with endless queues, is the North Highway, or TF-5, especially towards the metropolitan area, with the area around La Laguna being one of its main black spots. For this reason, the municipality is at the center of a whole series of road projects, in different degrees of projection or execution, which will transform mobility in the environment, and its physiognomy, with the aim of decongesting the most conflictive points and with more retention of traffic.
One of them is concentrated in the well-known Padre Anchieta roundabout, at the entrance to the city center, and in which two of the most advanced projects on this list are already underway: the burial of the TF-24, or Carretera de la Esperanza, as it passes through the roundabout to access the TF-5, and the pedestrian walkway over said roundabout, which will transform it, both executed from the Cabildo, through the Highways area.
Specifically, the works for the construction of the access branch from the TF-24 to the TF-5, which were awarded for almost 8 million euros, are progressing at a good pace and are expected to be completed on the scheduled date, that is, this summer. The Island Councilor for Roads and MobilityEnrique Arriaga, has highlighted that this work “will allow the channeling of traffic coming from El Rosario in the direction of Santa Cruz without the need for it to pass through the roundabout of Padre Anchieta, with which we remove a significant number of vehicles from the road, about 3,500 per day”.
The completion of this work is essential to be able to start the on-site work on the future pedestrian walkway of the Padre Anchieta roundabout, since work cannot begin on its foundation until the TF-burial ground is completely secured. 24. Even so, there is work that has already begun, regarding the change of pipes that pass through the area or the removal of vegetation, as well as the sculpture dedicated to Saint José de Anchieta that was located there, and that has been moved, temporarily, to the gardens of the central campus of the ULL. At the same time, work is being done on the Peninsula on the construction of the pedestrian walkways, which will later be transferred to the Island for “the final assembly of the pieces, which is expected to be at the end of this year,” explained Arriaga.
This infrastructure has a budget of 9,764,194 euros and the proposed solution is a continuous curved ring-shaped beam of approximately 100 meters in diameter, supported by a system of punctual supports, with a space attached to the current car park of the Faculty of Biology, from the University of La Laguna. The design has been awarded the National Innovation and Design Awards 2019.
The forecast is that these two works will be completely finished throughout the next 2023, and will already suppose a substantial change in the mobility of the area.
These are the two most advanced road projects in the municipality, but, in addition, the Cabildo has reported that it is in negotiations with the Government of the Canary Islands to request the necessary funds to finance the third rail project between Guamasa and Los Rodeos, in the TF-5, after finding that the project amounts to 50 million. Another key project to improve the mobility of the environment and streamline circulation.
But, in addition, the Ministry of Public Works of the Government of the Canary Islands also published, last month, in the BOC the public exhibition of the layout project of what is known as the TF-5 variant, between the Padre Anchieta roundabout and the airport of Los Rodeos. One of the most important road works planned in the Archipelago, both in terms of the volume of investment, 355 million euros, and the traffic it will absorb, more than 80,000 vehicles a day that will be removed from the urban fabric of The Lagoon that currently crosses the TF-5, as highlighted by the Ministry.
A budget that has risen from the initially estimated 170 million, since most of the route runs through a tunnel to preserve the environmental, agricultural and livestock values of the Vega de La Laguna and avoid the expropriation of homes, two conditions that the City Council donated to support the project.
The new route, about six kilometers long, and which has been agreed upon by the Government’s Department of Public Works together with the Cabildo de Tenerife and the municipalities of La Laguna and Tacoronte, will allow a direct connection to be established from Guamasa for all drivers who come from the North and want to travel to the metropolitan area without having to cross the urban area of La Laguna, allowing them to retake the current TF-5 at the height of the TF-13 or Vía de Ronda.
This work, moreover, is essential for La Laguna to be able to propose and execute an old aspiration of the municipality, to achieve in the future the burying of the TF-5 as it passes through La Laguna, turning the upper part into a boulevard and thus joining the municipality that, at present, is divided by this road.
To all these projects focused on the TF-5, we must add another one that will also greatly improve the mobility of the environment. Thus, the Regional Ministry of Public Works announced, in August 2021, the tender for the drafting of the project for the layout and construction of the section of the Ring of La Laguna that includes the connection with the Vía de Ronda (TF-13) and the area from the North region, through the Mesa Mota or Gorgolana tunnel. Thus, the tunnel that has been planned will eliminate the passage through Las Canteras for all traffic coming from Tegueste, Tejina, Valle de Guerra, Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo towards the TF-1 motorway, that is, more than 18,000 vehicles per day , which has historically been a bottleneck in this part of the Vía de Ronda.
All this set of projects planned by the Cabildo and the Canarian Government will mean, when they are already executed and underway, a substantial transformation of mobility on the Island and, especially, in the surroundings of the municipality.
The president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, valued that “when we began this mandate, the Island started from a very complicated reality because there were no highway projects prepared. Today, thanks to the effort and commitment of this government group, that has changed and we continue to work so that when this mandate ends we have vital projects already channeled” that “will represent a substantial change in the TF-5”, at the same time which highlighted “the collaboration of the Government of the Canary Islands”. “We have been very clear that permanent collaboration and an exchange of information is necessary, which we also maintain with the City Council of La Laguna, to advance for the benefit of Tenerife”, he pointed out.
For his part, the mayor of the municipality, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, indicated that “both the actions that are already being carried out, as well as those that already have projects budgeted for future execution, are a demonstration of the commitment to improve the road network and put a solution to the main traffic problems in our municipality. Not only the works at the Padre Anchieta roundabout, but especially the TF-5 variant project, added to other actions, will mean a before and after for mobility in La Laguna”.