João Marques, president of Ginásio Clube Naval de Faro, and Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau
João Marques, president of Ginásio Clube Naval de Faro, and Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau Photo: JOÃO LÁZARO

New island bridge and port renovations move forward in Faro

Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau announced this week some major developments to two of the town’s most important projects: the construction of a new bridge to Faro Island, and the renovation of the town’s recreational docks.

The bridge project – which has been in the pipeline for years and underwent three unsuccessful public tenders before a fourth finally attracted a bidder – is already moving forward, with the plan being to have it completed by 2024.

“We already know the size of the pillars, they have been ordered and as soon as they arrive, we will start placing them and building the bridge. I believe this will be done by April or May,” Bacalhau told Barlavento newspaper.

“If all goes well, next year we will have the bridge ready, which will create safer conditions for citizens trying to reach the beach. It won’t fix the issue of limited capacity for cars, but at least the bridge will have two lanes. We hope it will be completed quickly,” the mayor added.

The current bridge to Faro Island – one of the town’s most popular tourist destinations – has only one lane, which often leads to bottlenecks, especially in the peak of summer, and leads to safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new two-lane bridge will be built near the current bridge, which will be demolished once the new one is completed. It will also include two side pavements for pedestrians which will be “wide enough” for cyclists to use as well.

Bacalhau’s statements came during the celebrations of the 95th anniversary of the Ginásio Clube Naval de Faro, which announced that it is branching out into three new watersports: stand-up paddle, big-game fishing and spearfishing.

The special occasion was also used by the Clube Naval de Faro president to highlight the urgency over the revamp of Faro’s recreational docks, which is in a race against time to be completed by the end of this year, before the current Environmental Impact Study expires.

“The works must begin by December 14, 2023. If we, along with Docapesca and the local council, do not move forward with this project, it will be a loss for the entire town. This is a big concern of ours,” GCNF president João Marques said.

Rogério Bacalhau said that the project should be ‘ready to go’ by August.

“We have favourable reports from all entities, which we took three years to receive,” he said.

Other “structural projects” are also moving forward in Faro, such as a major renovation project which will run from the railway station, Avenida da República and Jardim Manuel Bívar all the way to Largo de São Francisco.

Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.