Authorities (finally) begin dredging work in Guadiana

Navigation || After decades on the back burner, a project to carry out vital dredging work in the Guadiana River has finally moved forwards.

The work, which will cost around €723,000 in its first stage, began shortly after New Year. The occasion was celebrated during an official ceremony on Wednesday (January 21) at the pier of Ayamonte, Spain.

Promoted by Spanish and Portuguese authorities, the plan is designed to see the trans-frontier river returned to condition for navigation, bringing “huge benefits” to tourism on both sides.

The work will see the river’s depth brought to at least 3.5 metres, as this will allow large vessels to start using it.

Around 55,000 square metres of sediment due to be removed will then be used to fill nearby beaches.

Luís Gomes, mayor of Vila Real de Santo António, called the news “historic”.

“This has been something the Algarvean people have wanted for 30 years,” he said, adding that it will allow tourist, sporting and fishing boats to sail up and down the river “safely”.

He also believes that the work will improve the “maritime-touristic” potential of the VRSA marina and the Eurocity of Guadiana (Vila Real de Santo António, Castro Marim and Ayamonte).

President of CCDR Algarve David Santos, Ayamonte mayor António Castillo and representative of the Junta de Andalusia Elena Jiménez took part in the ceremony.

The dredging work is being carried out by the Consejería de Fomento y Vivienda da Andaluzia and should be finished by March.