Petition with more than 1,100 subscribers wants to prevent tunnel in Miramar, Gaia

in News · 30-06-2020 17:26:00 · 0 Comments

A public petition that wants to prevent the construction of a tunnel in the Miramar area, municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is included in the renovation works of the local railroad, on 29 June exceeded 1,100 subscribers.

The petition is entitled “Don't Destroy Miramar: No to the Tunnel”, as the recipient of “Amigos de Miramar” and around 6:45pm on 29 June it registered 1,172 subscribers.

In the text of the petition it reads that “it has recently become known to residents of Miramar that there is a plan to build a road tunnel on Avenida Vasco da Gama to cross the level crossing, with its suppression, a project that is on the verge of coming to fruition”, concluding that “whoever knows this area knows that it stands out due to its ancient and careful architectural design”.

Thus, the subscribers consider the “project unspeakable”, pointing out that the current layout of the zone “is now seriously threatened”.

“This avenue, which crosses the entire town and extends to the beach, stands out as the main and most charismatic avenue in Miramar, constituting a landscape heritage of great value. In the light of this unspeakable project, it is now seriously threatened. The destruction of the Avenue would be a loss without return, both for the history of Vila Nova de Gaia and for the day-to-day lives of many people who not only reside in it, but who resort to it as a leisure area”, refer the petitioners .

At stake is the contract for the complete renovation of the railway between Espinho, in the district of Aveiro, and Vila Nova de Gaia, in the district of Porto, which was awarded for 55.3 million Euros, as announced on 28 February by Infrastructures of Portugal (IP).

“Infraestruturas de Portugal informs that the contract for the modernisation of the section between Espinho and Vila Nova de Gaia, on the Northern Line, was awarded to the consortium formed by the companies DST, SA and AZVI, SA, for 55.3 million Euros”, the company said in a statement.

The contract has “a term of 660 days and aims at the modernisation of a section of about 17 kilometres”.

Also according to the petition, whose authors admit having had access to information “transmitted unofficially”, the project, which is being carried out by IP, includes “the felling of centenary trees”, as well as “the construction of a tunnel which will cover a large part of the route from Praça de Índia to the first blocks to the east of the station”.

“It is even planned to build an additional tunnel on Rua das Moutadas, about 750 metres away, which makes this passage redundant. In short, an unacceptable work is planned that constitutes an irrecoverable attack on the area's heritage, completely disfiguring that which is par excellence the entrance door to Miramar”, add the authors.

The petitioners also criticise the project in terms of safety, pointing out that "when trying to promote rail safety", it may be "compromising road safety, by promoting the circulation of vehicles at speed on an avenue where a primary school is located".

And they point out that the residents “were not consulted or just informed, having been aware of such a revolting work incidentally in the imminence of its realisation”.

"In this way, we intend to respect Miramar's heritage in landscape, architectural, cultural and environmental terms, and as a residential and leisure area", they conclude.

The Lusa agency contacted IP, as well as the Vila Nova de Gaia Chamber to collect clarifications, but so far it has not been possible.

The Left Block of Vila Nova de Gaia, in a request dated 8 June and addressed to the Municipal Assembly of Vila Nova de Gaia, also states that it requested the consultation of the process to IP, but underlines that it is the chamber that expects “compliance information function, to the extent of its status of representation and defence of the citizens of the Municipality.”

“Because in addition to the specific IP project for the railroad, it is of interest to the Left Block to learn about the studies and / or implementation projects on the ground, namely with regard to the surrounding underground passageways envisaged,” reads the application.

In their text, municipal deputies Luísa Silva and Paulo Mouta point out that this project “will have an impact on several parishes in Vila Nova de Gaia, namely in the parish of Arcozelo”, in which Miramar is located.

“It will have a restructuring dimension on the main avenue in Miramar, so it must be possible to consult the inhabitants of the parishes concerned and the general public”, argue the blockers.

On 4 February of last year, questioned by a citizen in a decentralised public meeting that took place in Arcozelo, the Mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia recognised that the project would create “in some places a different access model and a different urban model, with positive and negative consequences”.

“In general, the advantages are going to be huge”, said Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, while also the councilman José Guilherme Aguiar, who among other portfolios accumulates economic activities, economic development and municipal projects, said that “the Miramar tunnel will only be used for vehicles therefore, the gap will be much less accentuated than the one that exists in Aguda, so the impact will be small”.


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