Joan Collins
THE old Palma to Manacor road is not going to disappear that easily.
Although the widening of this road is clearly an improvement for road safety and the project cannot be faulted, it would appear that the process of metamorphosis will be a long one, as its death throes are causing many difficulties to the circulation of traffic and patience in drivers. Nobody doubts that the death certificate of the “death road” (these were the words used by Mabel Cabrer, Balearic Minister for Public Works to describe the road) will be signed when, in barely five months, the President of the Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar, opens the section of the road which will connect the towns of Vilafranca and Manacor, thus shelving the widening project for the old C-715. However, all users of the unfinished Ma-15 should be warned that until the day comes when the road is finished, the old road could still claim its final victims. For this reason care should be taken. A lot of care should be taken on this road because the high volume of the traffic which the Manacor road carries every day makes it the perfect place for new traffic accidents on a road which, during the last few years, has claimed dozens of human lives. The problem now is that it combines some stretches which have been finished, and where the traffic reaches speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour, with at least another two where the works are still going on and where the speed of traffic is restricted to a mere 40 kph. The first of these areas still being “turned upside down”, with diggers and workmen, is encountered by drivers as they leave Palma between Son Ferriol and the Sant Jordi exit, where the construction of the road to Casablance is being undertaken. This is a project which aims to redirect the traffic, which now goes through the main road through the locality (the C-715), via a two lane ring road which will join the new motorway at both ends. The second of these areas is between Vilafranca and the industrial estate of Manacor, where the Roads Department is carrying out the last phase of the widening project. The work on the construction of two roundabouts, one of which is two kilometres from Vilafranca to direct traffic to Sant Joan and the other at the crossroads of Petra opposite the Es Cruce restaurant, has also been causing what is popularly known as the “bottleneck” effect. At these places, during the busiest times, long queues of cars, goods lorries and coaches build up, because every day these vehicles have to go to tourist and holiday areas on the island. In addition to this, the creation of these new roundabouts has caused anger in towns such as Montuiri and Vilafranca, as these new infrastructures have reduced the number of exits from these towns. In Montuiri, of the five exits connected to the road, three have been closed, while to get out of Vilafranca in the direction of Manacor residents have to drive two kilometres in the opposite direction, turn in the direction of Sant Joan at the new roundabout, and go along the new road.

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