Málaga County Council completes the reconstruction of the path El Caminito del Rey, which is to cost 3.12 m euros
This project consist of rebuilding the historic boardwalk, which is hanging over the gorge El Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, by workers specialized in climbing and a helicopter.
The project is to be contracted shortly after having received the report by the Railway Infrastructures Administration (ADIF), and is going to take 10 months. The opening is planned for 2015.
The Málaga County Council made a project for rebuilding of the path El Caminito del Rey, a historic hanging boardwalk that connects two sides of the Gaitanes Gorge, which is part of the Towns of Álora, Ardales and Antequera. The budget is 3,121,000 euros and the opening is to be in 2015, according to County Council President Elîas Bendodo; the representative of the Public Works and Arquitecture County Council Department, Ignacio Mena; the Environmental Department Representative from the Andalusian Government, Javier Carnero; architect Luis Machuca, who is the project developer, and the mayors of the above municipalities.
The works on the project will soon be awarded after the last phase of process is complete. There is to wait for the report by the Railway Infrastructures Administration (ADIF) of the Government because the path is linked with the railway of el Chorro.
This construction is supposed to last ten months, and requires helicopters to move materials, and workers specialized in climbing to build the new boardwalk. For that purpose, they are going to use wooden boards with metallic moorings and drill holes in the rock. Moreover, some of the sections are going to be made of glass so that the gorge could be seen.
At the presentation of the project, Mr Bendodo highlighted the importance of the environment for the project: ‘which has low impact on the environment; it is perfectly unified with the beauty spot, and exalts ecological features of the zone.’ Actually, the project includes a biological station, placed for two months in certain zones in order to protect vultures’ nests.
1.2 km Long Hanging Boardwalk
The works on the project include rebuilding of the whole path El Caminito del Rey, which is four km long, and, above all, a new 1.2 km long boardwalk, which is currently closed due to hazard of its current state. The Council President promised that in 2015 ‘all people, men, women and children will be able to go over the gorge as Alfonso XIII did in 1921 in order to open the Count of Guadalhorce’s Reservoir.
Moreover, the project of reconstruction of El Caminito del Rey incorporates control cabins that are going to be built at both ends of the route, in the municipalities of Ardales and Álora, as the entrance and exit points.
The County Council budget for 2014 comprises 2,239,000 euros allocated to one part of the expenses of the project during that year. The rest of expenses, approx 900,000 euros, will be paid from 2015 budget, the year when the path is going to start functioning. ‘We will achieve to change El Caminito del Rey, a forbidden and dangerous spot, into a trail that can be enjoyed by everyone,’ Mr Bendodo said.
Mr Carnero emphasized institutional co-operation that aims to: ‘give importance to this tourist and environmental hotspot of international significance’. Mayors Juan Calderón (Ardales), Josê Sánchez (Álora) and Manuel Barón (Antequera) thanked the County Council for reconstructing the path, which will be an important economic engine for the area, and they praised meeting of the deadlines.
From the technical point of view, the works are to be awarded for the sum of 3,121,000 euros for the whole project, although there will be additional benefit for those works completed before deadlines and for making improvements to the project.