The three administrations sign a collaboration agreement under which they will work together, within their respective competences, on the projects for the construction of the boulevard and the swing bridge between Erandio and Barakaldo.
Imanol Pradales, Head of the Department of Infrastructure and Territorial Development of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia; Ricardo Barkala, President of the Port Authority of Bilbao; and Aitziber Oliban, Mayoress of Erandio, have co-signed a collaboration agreement to work together on the construction of the boulevard along the right side of the river between Bilbao and Getxo and the swing bridge for pedestrians and cyclists between Erandio and Barakaldo.
To coordinate the work of the three administrations, the agreement sets out a shared, collaborative and co-responsible approach based on the competencies of each administration, with a view to ensuring the smooth running and completion of both projects.
The key aspects of the agreement are that the Provincial Council will take responsibility for drawing up and approving the construction projects, as well as their financing, tendering, contracting, execution, payment and management. At the same time, the Port Authority will assume responsibility for checking the state of the riverbanks on which both construction projects will be developed, and will establish the necessary conditions and requirements to guarantee the passage of merchant vessels and the stability and structural safety of the riverbanks. For its part, Erandio Town Council will be responsible for undertaking and streamlining the permitting process required for the works to be undertaken and, once the works have been completed, will assume ownership of the 3,552 m. of the BI-711 road as it passes through the town.
At the signing ceremony, Imanol Pradales expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the collaboration between the different administrations, pointing out its importance in helping take the boulevard and bridge projects forward. Both projects are designed to promote sustainable mobility, connecting the cycle paths and pedestrian walkways on both banks of the river, as well as consolidating the role of the river as the backbone of the towns and cities in the metropolitan area.
For his part, and after congratulating the Provincial Council of Bizkaia on this important initiative, Ricardo Barkala, President of the Port Authority, also stressed the importance of inter-institutional collaboration to set up and, as in this case, take forward projects where sustainability and innovation enable and enhance the quality of life of our towns and cities. The President of the Port Authority added that, in his opinion, actions of this type help local residents to once again look around and enjoy their river, while at the same time building a more sustainable Bizkaia.
The mayoress of Erandio, Aitziber Oliban, said that the bridge and the boulevard would transform the town, as had been the case with the undergrounding of the Metro line, bringing the neighbourhoods of Lutxana and Altzaga closer to the activities organised along the river and making it possible to enhance people’s enjoyment of the area even more. At the same time, she also stressed the importance of the fact that the bridge and the boulevard respect the industrial tradition of the municipality.
About the boulevard
The project to construct a boulevard along the right bank of the river consists of converting the BI-711, a former harbour towpath, into a cycle path and pedestrian walkway alongside lanes for the slow passage of motor vehicles. Studies and technical projects are currently being developed to detail the idea, which will take the form of a boulevard with separate spaces for pedestrian and bicycle paths, motorised traffic lanes, pedestrian pavements and parking areas, where there is enough space available to accommodate them all.
About the swing bridge
To complement the transformation of the river road into a boulevard, the Provincial Council will be behind the project to connect the town of Erandio and Barakaldo, and their respective cycling and pedestrian networks, by building a bridge to further promote an intermodal strategy of combining cycling and public transport. This new bridge will be built in such a way as to ensure the safe passage of river traffic for port activity.
The provisional project for the bridge, the work of the engineer Mike Schlaich, was approved this Tuesday at a meeting of the General Assembly of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. As a result, the public information stage will begin in the next few days.