Olhão crossing to temporarily reopen on Monday with security guard and “improved security conditions”

Olhão’s railway crossing is finally undergoing improvements to guarantee a “safe passage” for the hundreds of people who use it daily.

If all goes according to plan, it should be fully functional by Monday (October 12).

However, this is still only a temporary solution while renovations are carried out to the alternative underpass.

“We need to guarantee a reasonable alternative for pedestrians while we work on the underpass,” mayor António Pina told the Resident.

He added that the crossing, now boasting “improved security conditions”, will be open between 6.30am and 10pm and manned at all times by a security guard.

As the council admits, the improvements should have been completed in July, but IP – Portugal’s infrastructure authority – insisted on a public tender being launched to find the security company to control the crossing.

The crossing has been open for the last three months, but conditions were far from perfect, with poor accessibility and a makeshift “bridge” over the train tracks.

Despite the lack of security, authorities stopped closing the crossing – dubbed Olhão’s Berlin Wall – after locals repeatedly ripped up their efforts.

The council says it will be launching a public tender for renovations to the underpass, which locals dislike, calling it “steep, inaccessible and susceptible to flooding”.

Once the underpass is “ready” (could be by the end of this year/ early 2016), Pina told us the crossing will again be closed off – only reopening in “exceptional cases such as floods.”

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