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Ponta Delgada ,  July 26, 2019

Upgrading of tourism support infrastructures evidences Government's response to growth of visitors, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Ana Cunha, emphasised in Ribeira Grande that the upgrading works carried out by the Regional Government in support infrastructures at tourist sites evidence that the Regional Government has effectively responded to the growing flow of visitors to these iconic spaces of the archipelago.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the car park at Caldeira Velha Natural Monument, Ana Cunha stressed that this work is “an example of our work and of how the Government fulfils its promises" in the preservation and redevelopment of the main tourist spaces designed for recreation and leisure purposes.
The work falls within the construction of an access road, which runs parallel to the Regional Road for about 300 metres, with capacity for 90 light vehicles and 3 buses and includes direct pedestrian access to the Caldeira Velha reception area. This car park will be free of charges and will be open during the operating hours of this natural monument.
The Secretary explained that the park opened today not only provides parking space for visitors to Caldeira Velha, but also contributes to the organisation of these areas, thus ensuring increased safety on the Regional Road as the existing parking areas were insufficient and caused traffic constraints.
“There is an ever-increasing flow of visitors to the main tourist sites of our islands, which forces us to take action and deal with so-called growing pains,” Ana Cunha said, stressing that these positive consequences impose the need to adapt and upgrade our infrastructures.
The Secretary also emphasised that "the solutions adopted have sought to promote the harmonious integration with the surrounding area, including grass protection mesh and dark red asphalt paving." In turn, the pedestrian access path was built using treated wood and lapilli paving, which is also found inside Caldeira Velha.
Additionally, Ana Cunha revealed that there are plans to maintain some spaces in the existing park for vehicles transporting people with reduced mobility as well as exclusive spaces for official entities, such as firefighters, ambulances and PSP (Public Security Police). "Simultaneously, an alternative access for people with reduced mobility from this park to the natural monument is also under consideration."
The contract work was awarded to the company Albano Vieira. With a budget of 370 thousand Euros and a completion period of 75 consecutive days. The work was awarded on April 24. It included earthworks, drainage, paving and ancillary works, and the installation of signs.
Ana Cunha recalled that this investment falls within a series of works carried out by the Regional Government, through the Regional Secretariat for Transport and Public Works, to redevelop and increase parking areas near the main tourist sites. These interventions have already created 280 280 spaces for light vehicles and 23 for buses.
The areas under intervention already include: Caldeira Velha, Vista do Rei, Lagoa do Fogo, Barrosa, Pico do Ferro and Ponta do Sossego. "It should be the existing landscape has been respected in these works through the balance between the permitted visitor load and the environmental impact," stressed Ana Cunha.
“Therefore, we remain focused on the compliance with the provisions of the XII Government Programme, namely regarding the improvement and innovation of infrastructures and facilities designed to support strategic tourism tourism-related activities in the Region. In this context, the car park opened today is an example of our effective work, evidencing that the Government fulfils its promises," noted the Regional Secretary.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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