The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) put into service yesterday the new coastal highway between the municipality of cupcut and the neighborhood of Puerto Naos (Los Llanos de Aridane), with which he restores mobility in the Valley after the eruption of the volcano Old Summit between September and December 2021.
Specifically, the state department opened to the public a 3.9-kilometer section that connects the LP-215 and LP-213 highways, thus recovering the north-south connection of the western slope of the Island with a high-performance infrastructure , after having invested 38 million euros. And it is that, after the eruption, the roads LP-2, LP-212, LP-213, LP-211, LP-2132 and LP-215 were partially buried by the lava flows, which occupied an area of 1,219 hectares , interrupting north-south communication in this area and isolating population centers and farms.
In particular, the population south of the coladas could not access the capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, through the usual route LP-2 and LP-3, but had to go south through the LP- 2 circumambulating the Island. The Ministry highlighted, in a statement, that it is “an unprecedented work” in the construction of roads on recent lava and “innumerable” technical and environmental challenges, such as the execution of the viaduct that has been carried out within four and a half months; the excavation of the clearings in lava flows with high temperatures just a few months after the end of the volcanic eruption; access control and measurement of toxic gases as a preventive measure for the safety of workers or execution of bituminous mixtures in a hot-melt area, the first time that it has been carried out “worldwide”, they say.
For the choice and design of the road surface, which had to withstand temperature conditions at its base far from any standard, the Ministry explained that an extensive campaign of tests has been carried out -both on site and in laboratories-, accompanied by the performance of a section of tests on a full scale in one of the areas with the highest trace surface temperature.
In this section of tests, different configurations of esplanade crest and pavement package composition were tested, monitoring their behavior and verifying the correct constructability and mechanical resistance conditions. In addition, a highly sustainable design has been pursued, prioritizing the use of stone materials from the eruption for the formation of embankments and the manufacture of concrete, as well as pavements.
The conventional highway built has a speed of 70 kilometers per hour with a single carriageway and one lane in each direction, and the beginning of the section is located at the connection of the old coastal highway LP-2132 with the LP213, and ends at the connection with the LP-215 highway. Most of the trunk (2,460 meters) runs over the different lava flows (North, Intermediate and South) and the rest of the route crosses agricultural land (600) and, in its final part, rests on uncultivated land from a ancient eruption (502). Likewise, the first 370 meters of the layout rest on the existing LP-2132 road.
In the area between the intermediate flow and the south flow, the route runs over an agricultural area with a considerable height of slope and between kilometer points 2+537 and 2+780 a 243-meter-long viaduct has been built that allows improving the cross-sectional permeability in that area, reduce the conditions and be able to give way to the old coastal highway and agricultural roads.
The Ministry points out that the geophysical and geotechnical reconnaissance campaigns have been intense to detect possible cavities and lava tubes, as well as the work of monitoring and monitoring of high temperatures.