The military bridge was built after the 1989 floods and was always meant to be a temporary solution

Tavira Council says it was always transparent about plans to build new bridge

Tavira Council has reacted to the controversy over the construction of a new bridge over the Gilão River (click here) by releasing an official statement listing all the times it publicly announced or revealed updates about the project.

The council denies that it tried to keep the project ‘under wraps’ and says it was always transparent about its intentions.

The first major development that the council reported was in March 2016 when it announced via the press and on its social media pages that the project for a new bridge was being developed by A2P Consult – Estudos e Projectos, Lda for €31,970.

It also says that the plan received favourable feedback from the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA), the Commission of Regional Coordination and Development (CCDR), fishing authority Docapesca and the Tavira Capitania.

The council adds that the news was also published in 2016 and 2017 in Tavira’s municipal magazine, where it made it clear that the concrete bridge would be built on two pillars and would be open to cars in order to keep traffic flowing in the area.

Refutting the idea that it ever kept the project ‘hidden’, the council also says it was advertised every time the council took part in summer events around the Algarve starting in 2016.

It also points out that the project was part of the current administration’s electoral programme.

In January 2018, the local authority also held a presentation attended by the man who designed the bridge, civil engineer Júlio Appleton, aimed at providing a detailed explanation about the “look, functionality and the placement of the bridge”.

Last March, the council used its Facebook page to announce that a contract for the construction of the bridge had been signed with Tecnovia and that the works would cost nearly €1.5 million.

The council says that it “always acted transparently” and adds that the project, along with many others which aim to bring new life to both sides of the Gilão River in Tavira, will benefit and value the town’s historic centre.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com