THE Ministry for Public Works have begun upgrading the section of road between Cami dels Reis and s'Esgleieta, on the road which links Palma and Valldemossa.
It will mean widening the surface as far as the Balearic University and the reconditioning of the rest of the road.
Regional Public Works minister, Mabel Cabrer, formally presented the works yesterday, which, she reported, will be carried out at a cost of 16 million euros.
Cabrer specified that the project includes the construction of a link road to guarantee direct access to the University campus, as well as the provision of four roundabouts and three intersections.
The work will be monitored under the auspices of a new highway agreement signed last March between the Balearic government and the central government ministry of Public Works, reported Cabrer. She emphasised that the project is supported by political groups right across the board.
Cabrer explained that the section which is to undergo reform, a tract some six kilometres in length, will have a cycle track running alongside it and will be considered as an urban arterial road, where a maximum speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour will be in force.
The widening of the road section between Cami dels Reis and the University Campus, will make use of the existing roadway, except a stretch of some 400 metres located in front of the Can Moreno roundabout.
The minister said that the project has drawn some official complaint during the time that it was set out in its draft form for public comment, on issues mostly related to access to properties which flank the development.
The programme, said Cabrer, has also taken into account the conservation of the irrigation channels of La Vila and En Baster, which run across the immediate surrounds of the Son Espanyol roundabout; and the construction of a portico so that these structures of historical heritage importance can be visited by the public.
Balearic University rector, Avel.li Blasco who was present at the address, gave a perspective that for many years, the academic institution has been calling for this improvement in the roadway, where, he pointed out, serious accidents had happened over the last few years.
The mayor of Palma, Catalina Cirer, emphasised that the work is vital to respond to the needs of mobility in a University community and for tourists who visit the Island.
The mayor of Valldemossa, Joan Muntaner, valued the reform of direct access to the Balearic University planned within the work because it will avoid the congestion which at the moment is suffered on this stretch of the road.
According to Public Works ministry sources, the average volume of traffic on this section of the road reaches 20'000 vehicles a day.