Construction of a new viaduct over the Portimão railway has already begun, with the goal being to channel traffic away from the town’s accident-prone level crossing and limit circulation on the level crossing solely to pedestrians.
The news has been confirmed by Portimão Council in a statement to the press this week.
The statement warns that the town’s flea market and monthly markets will continue being held at the local fair and exhibition park despite the start of the construction of the viaduct, which will link two roundabouts at Rua Comandante Araújo (south of the railway, between the town’s riverside fish restaurants and the local railway station) and Rua Caldeira do Moinho (north of the railway, near the Portimão Arena).
“While the works that are underway will condition the usage of an area of the park, the traditional selling spaces have been rearranged in order to conciliate both situations and guarantee the safety of sellers and buyers,” the council says.
“This project, led by Infraestruturas de Portugal, aims to create conditions in 2024 so that circulation on the level crossing near the Panificadora is limited only to pedestrians, while vehicles should use the future viaduct, which is part of the public works related to the electrification of the railway between Tunes and Lagos, estimated to cost nearly €25 million,” it adds.
The contract authorising the start of the electrification works was signed in June in Lagos by the Minister of Infrastructure, who described the occasion as a “great victory for the Algarve and the national railway”.
According to the environmental impact study of the electrification project, the new viaduct will be 365-metres long and seven-metres wide, with two traffic lanes. It will also have side pavements on both sides of the viaduct.
A considerable amount of traffic is expected to be channelled onto the viaduct, as the level crossing is located in one of the busiest areas of the town, very close to the Cardosas roundabout near the Aqua shopping centre and the northern entrance of Portimão.
Level crossing tragedies
The level crossing in Portimão has been the location of several accidents over the years, many of which have ended tragically.
The incidents usually involve drivers or pedestrians trying to cross the train track before the train passes, despite the warning signals which include flashing lights and alarm bells.
In January, a woman in her 60s died after being hit by a train on the level crossing.
Photos: MICHAEL BRUXO/OPEN MEDIA GROUP