The County Council total investment in El Caminito del Rey, access points and equipment is to reach 5m euros
Up to now, 75% of works have been finished, and the rest of them is to be done until the beginning of 2015, said Elias Bendodo during the visit to the beauty spot.
The train station will be called El Chorro – Caminito del Rey, and the footbridge that goes over the gorge is to be named after the deceased Ignacio Mena.
County Council President Elías Bendodo has attended today the official foundation of the new footbridge that is to connect two parts of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes walls on El Caminito del Rey. This structure is to be named after Ignacio Mena, a representative of the Public Works and Arquitecture County Council Department who deceased last August. Total investment of this governmental body in the spot, including the boardwalk reconstruction, the access points and equipment is to reach the sum of 5m euros.
This way, 2.24 m euros invested in rebuilding of El Caminito del Rey are to be added to 2.09 m of repairs on the road Ardales – El Chorro (Álora), and the MA5403 road, as it was explained today by Mr Bendodo during his visit to this area. These works are to be awarded tomorrow to one of 45 companies which sent proposals, as he announced.
Moreover, there is to sum up other investments which are made to adapt the space around the above spots, above all the Tourists Reception Center that is to be placed at the train station El Chorro, which also forms part of the project: ‘This place will be a national and international tourist and environmental landmark’, he guaranteed.
Mr Bendodo with the mayors of Ardales and Álora, Juan Calderón and José Sánchez, informed that Railway Infrastructures Administration (ADIF) had accepted to name the new train station El Chorro – El caminito de Rey, ‘ so that the beauty spot would increase its touristy nature’.
Use of Helicopters
As for the new footbridge, this is a hanging metallic structure which is to be parallel with the old bridge. This one will be kept as an example of industrial archeology. Ignacio Mena’s family attended the announcement of the tribute that the County Council and the municipalities of Ardales, Álora and Antequera are going to pay in honour of the deceased representative.
This building structure is going to be connected by moorings to the rock and is going to be formed by sections which are screwed one to another. Cables and catenary are going to be used for connecting and achieving balance. This way, people will be able to walk along it safely and without difficulties. The president has reminded that the old bridge was actually a platform-soled water channel.
The works that started today are to be intensified at the end of the month, when helicopters are going to be used to move materials. The works management believes that the bridge will be finished in October, ‘which will take us closer to the end of the whole project’, Mr Bendodo says.
The County Council president informed that 75% of the project of the historic boardwalk rebuilding is executed. This means that the deadline of the project can be met as agreed at the beginning of 2015, and that the boardwalk will be open during the first quarter of the year.
The final way should be six kilometres long, and it could be crossed in approximately one hour and a half. The boardwalk reconstruction and surrounding elements adaptation should make it easier for people to cross the path which is going to become a completely safe way, but will have to be crossed on foot.
The Mayor of Ardaleas said he was ‘highly pleased’ to see that the deadlines are being met and that the path El Caminito del Rey would be a stimulus for the area and the province. Álora Mayor announced the building of the way for observing El Caminito del Rey from a distance, and asked the Andalusian Government to fix the road Álora-El Chorro which is under their ownership.
A Hundred-year-old Building Technique
The works on the Caminito del Rey reconstruction started on 13th March. The technique which was used for this purpose was similar to the one used between 1901 and 1905 by the employees of the Hydroelectric Power Company El Chorro to build the boardwalk. Then, this was a service way which got its name after King Alfonso XIII had walked across it to open the Reservoir of Count of Guadalhorce in 1921.
Following the method, workers should hang on the wall of the gorge in order to install the parts of wood and fix them onto the wall. The Company Sando, which has been awarded the project, also uses helicopters to transfer materials to the zones which are difficult to access and to take away garbage and rubble from the building site.
The trail is 1.2 km long and it will be made of wooden parts and moorings which are going to be fixed onto the rock after it is drilled. Some sections will have glass floor so the visitors could see the gorge. Moreover, control cabins are going to be built as access points at the both ends of the path in the municipalities of Ardales and Álora.
The project is to be executed in 2014 and 2015. The County Council of Málaga approved the budget for both parts of the project on 21st February during an extraordinary general meeting in Ardales. This year’s budget is 1,652,332 euros, and 591,769 euros are to be used next year. This means that total investment is 2,244,101 euros.