Last week Guardia Civil moved into the Sunday Market area of Guadamar to serve Judicial papers to the land owner, to allow work to commence on another section of dual carriage way along the N332. Although parts of the Dual Carriageway are open and connect Pilar de la Horadada on the southern Costa Blanca border to the roundabout at the infamous Nancy’s nightclub, progress has been slow. The Sunday Market area was noted as a reason for the hold up on completion however much of the road building, especially just south of Guadamar, still looks far from finished!
During the summer, when the population of Torrevieja alone can swell to over half-a-million, it’s estimated that over 40,000 vehicles use this busy and sometimes dangerous section of the N332. On the Orihuela Costa especially, problems crossing the road have accounted for a number of deaths, especially in the areas close to Punta Prima and Cabo Roig. Sections of the N332 have been temporarily opened to ease the traffic flow but more frustration was in evidence last week when road-lining operations were in process and parts of the road again closed. The problem was that signs were not erected anywhere ahead of the road-works to inform drivers, which in the case of those travelling North from Punta Prima and wishing to turn towards the Hospital or the Motorway, meant a diversion to the next junction of over three kilometres, just to make a left turn!
While the section from Pilar de la Horadada to Punta Prima is all but complete, the area through Torrevieja has yet to be started! Delays are expected anyway due to pipe laying from the Desalination plant and since there are few alternative routes around Torrevieja, the thought of more road-works causing possible further disruption, is not a good one.
A spokesperson from Torrevieja’s Council said that land had been seeded to the National Government for these road improvements but that they had not heard anything regarding start dates on the project! In the meantime, the N332 from La Mata to Guadamar remains as one lane in each direction with more eyebrows being raised by the lack of a turnoff from the slip road going north from Torrevieja, for the La Mata Health centre, which one must now drive past and then double back to reach!
Another cause of ironic amusement are the posted Speed Limits, which for the most part are either 60 or 70 kph along the stretch of Dual Carriageway. However, as the road narrows to one lane into Horadada the speed rises from 60 to 70 kph and travelling north, on the outskirts of Torrevieja, it changes from 70 to 80 kph! Drivers should be aware that with the zero tolerance policy towards being over the speed limit by just one-kph, that’s to be introduced this year, that the opportunity for the installation of more speed cameras could be a reality, slowing traffic down and causing more frustration and delays, especially from visitors.
There still has not been an announcement as to what, when and if there are future plans for the N332 to become a two-lane highway from Guadamar past La Marina, the Salt Flats and Santa Pola towards Alicante Airport! In the meantime, although the Sunday Market area is now being worked on, the area around the Lemon Tree Road still looks months away from completion but at least it now seems as if the opening of this section of the N332 as a dual carriageway, before summer 2010, will drastically cut down traffic delays, which can only be a good thing for everyone.