Francesc Triay, the president of the Port Authority, announced yesterday that his department has lodged an objection to the city council's plans for the sea front, calling for the construction of a 2.5 kilometre tunnel linking the ring road with the Muelle Viejo or commercial dock. At a press conference yesterday, he said that the council's plans will transform the stretch of the Levante motorway between the end of the ring road and the Muelle Viejo into a boulevard, which will clearly damage the interests of the port because it will make it difficult for vehicles to enter or leave. Last year, the port handled two million tons of cargo. Triay pointed out that the council plans call for roads to be made narrower, new accesses from the beach and numerous pedestrian crossings, which, in his opinion, will reduce the capacity and safety of heavy traffic notably. The city council has not analysed the problems of access to the commercial docks, it has not taken into account that the motorway to the Muelle Viejo forms part of the principal roads network, Triay said yesterday. He went on to say that any bottleneck in the port or its accesses makes moving cargo more expensive and increases the costs of insularity. In addition to reclaiming an alternative which will make urban improvements compatible with access to the port, Triay said that there was a State plan for this purpose which has a budget of 90'000 million pesetas, and from which Palma could benefit. We want to channel port traffic quickly and safely towards the high speed roads network, Triay said, adding that he would provide the council with an estimate of the cost of this project. The President of the Port Authority also said that the need for a direct access from the ring road is independent of the transfer of passenger boats from the Dique del Oeste to the Muelle Viejo, as the ferries also carried lorries with cargo which had to leave the docks rapidly. Triay said that he planned to submit his request for a tunnel to the Balearic government and the Council of Majorca, which will be responsible for roads next year. He pointed out that such a tunnel was already being built in the port of Vigo. The ideal would be a double road with two lanes, which could be used for heavy traffic as well as cars.
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