After 15 years of construction, the highly anticipated Gibraltar tunnel has finally opened. This new infrastructure has been designed to improve travel and transportation through the border, focusing on creating more efficient links for tourists and locals.
The newly constructed tunnel is a game-changer. For the first time since 1941, when the international airport was built, traffic and pedestrians will be able to move freely from Spain to Gibraltar (passing through passport and customs checks, of course).
Spanning 1.2km, the new construction starts from a new roundabout at Devil’s Tower Road and ends at the East Gate roundabout. Of this distance, roughly 350 meters are covered by the tunnel, which will have a speed limit of 20 – 50kph depending on traffic flow.
Cars and goods vehicles will pass through the tunnel, while a separate subway will allow a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to travel through the tunnel, via a footbridge accessible from Eastern Beach.
With an eye to safety, there is a tunnel control room to maintain constant surveillance of traffic flow. Operational round the clock, every day of the year, it will monitor traffic within the tunnel and the pedestrian/cycling subway.
Equipped with cameras that automatically detect vehicles slowing down or stopping suddenly, tunnel control operators can take charge of traffic, with all systems state-of-the-art and installed to British Safety Standards.
To communicate with tunnel users in the unlikely event of an emergency, the control room has the capacity to override any radio frequencies within the tunnel, meaning that drivers listening to the radio will hear the emergency message through their car’s own speakers.
Benefit local economy
The new infrastructure has been welcomed and will greatly benefit the surrounding areas, including the town of La Línea de la Concepción, which borders Gibraltar, and towns like Sotogrande, from where many people commute to work over the border. With improved transportation links, there is likely to be a boost in the local economy, as businesses and tourists alike will find it easier to access the town.
In addition to providing benefits for the locals, the tunnel will also improve the daily lives of residents living nearby or working on either side of the border. Residents will have an easier time commuting to work, accessing medical services, and enjoying leisure activities.
The tunnel also has the potential to boost the real estate industry in the region. Improved transport links may make the surrounding areas more attractive to property buyers, while it makes flights from Gibraltar airport even more attractive to visitors and residents all along the Costa del Sol.
Another potential impact of the new tunnel is increased tourism to the region. Gibraltar has long been a popular destination for tourists, and the improved new link make it even more appealing.
The opening of the tunnel is a major milestone for the region. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of those involved in the project, and a sign of progress and growth for the area. Have you been through the tunnel yet? If you are on your way to find your dream home on the Costa del Sol, make sure you get in touch so we can help you with your search!