There are plenty of construction projects underway on Lanzarote, and even more are likely to occur in the coming months. We take a look at the most important changes you’re likely to be seeing in the next 12 months.
It won’t just be the resorts that will be buzzing in the coming months; any businesses related to construction are also likely to be as busy as bees, as money is freed up after the Covid pandemic, in order to bring jobs and money back. Lanzarote will receive €97 million from the Canarian government this year, more public funds than in any other year so far.
Nevertheless, turning those funds into action is another matter, and political instability on the island, combined with the pandemic, means that a lot of that money is still unaccounted for. Here’s what’s likely to happen:
The Playa Blanca port extension will be completed, as will, hopefully, the new cruise ship extension of the Marina in Arrecife.
The main road projects this year are an improvement of the LZ1 main road between Guatiza and Órzola, a long-awaited update for the least-conditioned stretch of the island’s main north-south axis.
Work on converting the LZ 40 road that links Puerto del Carmen with the airport into a dual carriageway will also begin this year. This road-widening scheme has been planned for over 10 years, but we should see some action soon.
The connection between the LZ2 main road and Arrecife’s outer ring road is also the subject of a 2.5 million makeover.
The island’s love of roundabouts will be satisfied as a new one is located on the LZ2 at Macher, on the hill near Flower Power garden centre. This will not only permit vehicles to change direction earlier on this stretch, but will also make entry and exit from this residential area much safer.
The biggest shopping projects on the island will be the new shopping centres at La Perla in Puerto del Carmen and the Open Mall Lanzarote in Arrecife. However, development on the latter has been controversial, with many fearing that it will be another nail in the coffin for the city centre, which is already struggling.
There’ll also be plenty of action in the Argana Alta area of Arrecife, where Mercadona, McDonalds and Decathlon will be joined by Burger King, Hiper Dino and, what looks like a Leroy Merlin DIY shop. The Playa Honda industrial zone will also see some new developments, although we’re not sure what they are yet.
Aldi are reported to be bringing two shops to Lanzarote, Lidl will add another two to the three already here, and Costa Teguise has been mentioned in the plans of both chains. However, Playa Blanca still doesn’t figure in the plans of the large supermarkets.
Health and Education
The main health-related project on Lanzarote will be the completion of the radiotherapy bunker at the Dr José Molina Orosa Hospital, which will avoid cancer patients having to travel for extended stays on Gran Canaria.
A new haemo-dynamic unit is also planned for the Hospital, which will also mean that heart attack patients will not have to be airlifted to Gran Canaria. Substantial funds will also go into the funding and staffing of these units.
Projects to extend the services at Playa Blanca Health Centre have also been put forward, although the project is still at an early stage. The smaller health consultancies in Yaiza and Playa Honda will also receive funds.
San Bartolomé secondary school will be extended, and a project to improve the school in Costa Teguise is also planned, although the amounts currently allocated to the projects seem insufficient. Three schools in Arrecife will also receive funds for new building works.
The business view
Pilar Estevan of Lanzarote’s Chamber of Commerce told us “Since 2013, we’ve had a 2-metre high board with all the important developments on it. After eight years, many have not been completed. The low degree of execution of investment budgets is a recurring problem on Lanzarote.”
“We believe the most important projects are further education facilities that would allow young people to study and train professionally without having to leave the island,” she continued. “We’d also like to see the planned extension of Arrecife’s fishing school take place for similar vocational reasons.”
Estevan also stated that works on Arrecife’s Marina need to be finished, the port at Órzola requires organization, and La Graciosa’s port requires a lot of improvement.
Readers’ Wish List
When we asked Gazette readers online which projects they’d like to see prioritised in the coming months, the same answers kept coming up. There was no appetite for big, vanity projects – just works that would make life easier for those who live here.
Most people agreed there was a call for more housing, and especially social housing, to help reduce rents and provide accommodation for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Many linked this with the existence of empty or abandoned houses and hotels, which cause a negative image of the island. “I don’t understand how permission can be granted for over development of parts of our beautiful island, when much lies empty and unloved”, one reader wrote.
There was general agreement that disabled access should be a priority, and pedestrian pavements and cycle paths require renovation and extension.
There was also a call for showers and public conveniences on all beaches. This should be a basic for a holiday island, but too many beaches have broken or closed facilities.
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