THE Palma City Council is all set to revamp the sea front, and is even contemplating the possibility of running the Paseo Marítimo underground.
Rodrigo de Santos, the deputy mayor in charge of urban development announced yesterday that the contract to draw up the plans had been awarded to Rafer Euroestudios, for 278'400 euros. He explained that changes to the sea front will stop traffic using streets running perpendicular to the Paseo Marítimo to access the sea front, except for Calle Manuel Azaña, in order to prevent traffic collapsing until the underground project is completed. However, although both the City Council and the Council of Majorca want to see a stretch of the Paseo Maritimo put underground, negotiations are still underway with the Balearic government and the central ministry of public works, for its development and finance. But De Santos described it as “essential” for the future expansion of the port of Palma.
He went on to explain that the project awarded today is to develop a programme which will give the sea front a facelift, so that work can start in 2006. Rafer Euroestudios specialises in engineering projects, runs on Majorcan capital and is directed by Antonio Ramis Arrom. Their work will be based on ideas drawn up by Catalan architect Joan Busquets.
Under this project, the roads perpendicular to the Paseo Marítimo would become a series of “green corridors” opening out on to the sea front. The area will also be affected by the construction of new amenities such as the Congress Hall, due to be built on a site, which first of all needs Council of Majorca approval. The City Council will also build a new administration block in the area, as well as the offices of the ministries of the environment and public works. De Santos said that the road from the old quay which is used by Paseo Maritimo traffic will also be modified, to integrate it more into the city.
New accesses to Portixol and El Molinar will be opened, the lay out of Calle Manuel Azaña will be modified so that it doesn't run through the site of the Congress Halls and improvements will be made to electricity supplies. It will take five years to complete the first stage of the plan, he said.

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