Olhão expects work on the bypass to begin in the first half of 2024

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The mayor of Olhão expects construction of the section of the EN125 bypass in this Algarve town to begin in 2024, after the government authorized an agreement with the sub-concessionaire.

“It’s a happy day […], our expectation is that the work will start in the first half of 2024 and finish before the end of the PRR [Recovery and Resilience Plan],” said António Miguel Pina.

The government has authorized Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) to negotiate with the sub-concessionaire to take over the construction of a section of the Olhão bypass of the National Road 125 (EN125), ending a “legal blockade”.

The bypass, almost six kilometers long, is part of a sub-concession under the responsibility of RAL – Rotas do Algarve, which has been in dispute for several years, preventing “the launch of the tender for the work”, according to the executive.

“This work means removing tens of thousands of vehicles that cross Olhão every day, reducing their carbon footprint,” said António Miguel Pina, adding that it will be a “comfort” for both Olhão residents and those who have to cross the Algarve city.

The estimated investment will be 15.6 million euros, financed through the PRR, and the work is expected to be completed in December 2025.

At the end of the Council of Ministers (CM) meeting, the Minister for Infrastructure, João Galamba, announced that IP has been authorized to “seek an agreement with the sub-concessionaire” to urgently modify the concession contract, with the aim of excluding the Olhão bypass section of the EN125.

According to the Minister for Infrastructure, the aim is for IP to be able to “normally assume responsibility for this section”, launch a tender and award the contract for the work, which is “very important” for mobility and also for road safety in the area.

“There’s no need for a negotiating committee, this will be implemented immediately. That’s why we have mandated, as a matter of urgency, the modification of this contract,” said João Galamba, noting that contacts have been made with the concessionaire, who “has shown willingness to implement this agreement”.

The project for this work is in the final stages of environmental assessment, which runs until the end of August, and IP “expects to launch the project for the execution of the work before the end of this year,” he said.

With this decision, the minister hopes to take “another step towards lifting the blockages and speeding up the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan projects”, but also a reduction in the burden on the state, since “the sub-concessionaire is paid for carrying out the works and maintenance”, which it no longer does, in addition to the fact that it is a toll-free stretch.

The Olhão bypass is the “only PRR road project in the Algarve region, of the utmost importance, demanded by the region for a long time, and which will remove the more than 20,000 cars that pass through the city of Olhão every day”, not because they need to go to the city, but to drive on the EN 125.

According to the minister, this stretch is the only road project under the PRR that had “blockages”.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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