No charge for the tunnel
The long running saga of Spain's most expensive toll tunnel is due to end next week when the tunnel which connects Soller to the rest of Mallorca opens its barriers forever. Like many public works in Spain which are built using public authority finance, the tunnel has been run by a private company in the Globalvia group (photos) which manages big national infrastructure projects.
For around 20 years now a campaign has been waged to bring the tunnel's management back into the public domain, as with the highest charges per kilometre of any tunnel in Spain, it was costing the public a lot of money.
Previously it was announced that this would happen on 1st September, when the Consell of Mallorca would compensate the company for the remainder of its contract and there would be no tolls ever again. However, legal matters prevented this but now everything has been cleared up and around €17 million will be handed over just before the barriers go up at midnight on the evening of the 28th December going in to the 29th.
As I previously reported, the transfer of management will actually cost the public purse less than before and will make a lot of people much happier and encourage more visitors to Soller, where the council are already making plans for extra parking and facilities for the increased number of people and cars.
The tunnel actually saves an awful lot of time negotiating steep, twisting, turning roads through the Tramuntana mountains and had an immense impact on the economy and society when it was opened. Read more about it here.