Rocks fell onto the Sa Calobra road in February.


Rockfalls in the Tramuntana Mountains are not infrequent. Because of the damage which can be caused, the Council of Majorca will be spending five million euros on containing rockfalls.

Since 2010, the Council's roads department has invested three million euros on work and also on studies to ensure the safety of drivers on the mountain roads. Even with the five million being added this year, the investment is considered to be sufficient.

The Council wants the national development ministry to unlock ten million euros to contain landslides and rockfalls in the area of the mountains that was affected by the great Andratx fire of summer 2013. The loss of forest has led to a weakening of the land, which has increased the possibility of landslides and rockfalls.

Two methods are currently deployed. These involve a mesh or steel retention shields, both of which prevent rock falling onto roads. But although money can be invested, it is impossible to cover the whole of the Tramuntana, a fact that the councillor for infrastructure, Mercedes Garrido, recognises. The funding from Madrid would be targeted at an area where rockfalls are most expected, i.e. the Andratx area.

To highlight the issue, a half-ton rock fell last week at a site where containment shields are being installed, while in the middle of February a fall of rocks on the road to Sa Calobra trapped excursion coaches for a time. One road in the southern part of the mountain range - the stretch of the MA-10 between Andratx and Estellencs - was closed for several weeks last year when a massive rock crashed through the roof of the tunnel along the road. Taking into account risk criteria and incidents of landslides and rockfalls, this is one of the priority roads for safety measures. Another in the area is between S'Arraco and Sant Elm. In other parts of the Tramuntana, particular efforts will be targeted at the roads to Formentor and Port de Valldemossa, the road in areas of the Gorg Blau reservoir and the road between Alaro and Orient.


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