Photo:: José Luis Delgado

Updated 10 September:
The Canarian Government’s Road Infrastructure director José Luis Delgado said today that the final surfacing of the Fonsalia TF1 spur has been started over the past week. The minister said that the works, which have been five years in the planning and which seemed unthinkable even a year ago when the project was paralysed and without funding, are now almost at an end. The road is expected to open around November.

Updated 26 August: Guía de Isora mayor Pedro Martín and the Canarian Government’s Road Infrastructure director José Luis Delgado say that works have started on the roundabout to connect the Fonsalia spur motorway with the coast road. The roundabout is just after Fonsalia, before the entrance to Alcalá. Martín and Delgado say that the spur will allow people heading to Puerto Santiago and Los Gigantes to use the TF1 to the Vera de Erques junction rather than having to take the saturated road through Armeñime and Playa San Juan … and Martín is still holding out for an Alcalá bypass at some point in the future. The spur motorway is expected to open in November.

Updated 6 June: Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento says that the works on the “bajada a Fonsalia” spur motorway are going well, with a third of the road now already tarmacked and the Erques junction levelling works being finished off. This week works will start on the roundabout connection for the coast road. Works are expected to last until September, with the spur road opening before the end of the year.

Updated 28 February: Martin Lawson has very kindly made me a time comparison for the stretch between the old Adeje end of the TF1 and the road for Vera de Erques. The video below shows the round trip, with the left screen showing the TF1 to the new Vera junction, and the right screen with the TF82 to the original Vera junction. So, it’s just a couple of minutes saved by the new motorway but if there were a holdup in Los Menores, or a queue between Los Menores and the bridge over the TF1 for the TF82 to join the motorway (a queue which is appalling on many mornings) then that two or so minutes becomes much more … and the motorway is a much easier drive too.

Many thanks, Martin!

Update 17 February: Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento has announced that the first stage of the resurfacing works on the Piedra Hincada and Tejina de Isora roads from the TF1 will start tomorrow, Thursday 18 February, and will mean the closing of the section, which runs between the TF1 roundabout to the bridge over the Fonsalia spur just before Piedra Hincada. The second phase, the upper stretch between the Tejina junction roundabout and the village of Tejina itself, and the lower section of the Piedra Hincada road, will be carried out after Easter, and will require raising the drainage, electricity and telecommunication junction boxes in the road.  Guía de Isora mayor Pedro Martín said that this section, between Agua Dulce and Tejina de Isora was the one in the poorest condition, not least because of the heavy traffic which has used it in recent years during the TF1 extension.

Update 29 January 2016: Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento says that the TF1 junction with the town will open at 10am tomorrow, Saturday 30 January. Mayor Pedro Martín expressed his gratitude to the Canarian Government’s Consejería de Obras Públicas y Transportes department for the works being completed by the end of January as estimated, and said that the council would continue lobbying the Government for the motorway past the town to be a full four lanes, rather than the three lane “chicken run”. The new road up from the Guía de Isora junction to the town will still need some work to be carried out on it over the next few weeks but it will, at last, be open to public traffic.

Update 26 December 2015: And thanks once again to Martin Lawson for the following video of the new stretch of the motorway, from Adeje to Tejina (his video of the Tejina to Santiago del Teide stretch, opened earlier this year, is below).

Update 19 December: And it’s open … and it was after all this week, as José Luis Delgado, Canarian Government roads minister, promised on Monday. As of yesterday, traffic was flowing on a motorway whose end is no longer Adeje, but Santiago del Teide! Delgado expressed his deepest thanks to all those – from designers to engineers to labourers – who have worked so hard to make the dream a reality.

I started posting on this extension in September 2010 (link) – and that was only when the initial excavations were complete on the Tunel del Bicho at Santiago del Teide. It had been years in the planning before that. The next stage of “the works” will be the spur motorway from the Vera de Erques junction down to Fonsalia between Playa San Juan and Alcalá, which is where future plans will see a port to service all the western islands’ ferries, moving them away from Los Cristianos. That will no doubt be another thread, but as I said HERE in October, now that the TF1 extension is finished, it is the next major priority for roads infrastructure in Tenerife.

And beyond that, of course, there are the increasingly solid plans, possibly a decade away from completion, for the tunnels which will continue the TF1 from Santiago del Teide to El Tanque, and so completing the island motorway ring road. And that certainly will be another thread! For the moment, here’s the open road. At last!

erques bridge

Photo: José Luis Delgado.

Update 14 December: The  final weight and distortion tests have been carried out on the Erques viaduct, and for those who understand these things, they show a maximum torsion of 4cm with a recovery time of 5 minutes. The results are “better than projected and show the flexibility of the engineering”, says José Luis Delgado, Canarian Government roads minister. Delgado added that to many these will just be numbers, but for others, including himself, they “represent a dream come true – a dream that will be reality in less than one week’s time”. The photo below shows the bridge during the test when it was weighted with fully loaded lorries.

viaduct (800 x 450)

Photo: José Luis Delgado.

Update 6 December: There will be restrictions on the TF1 extension today between the Vera de Erques junction and Santiago del Teide, especially between Tejina de Isora and Guía de Isora for works to the carriageway to be finalised. Final testing – including the weight and “distortion” test on the Erques viaduct – is scheduled for Thursday and Saturday this coming week – and if all goes well, it will be open the week after! For Christmas, as they said!

Update 26 September: It’ll be the end of December. That’s the latest estimate from Canarian Government roads minister José Luis Delgado, and Cabildo roads and development councillors Miguel Becerra and Ofelia Manjón for the opening of the Adeje and Santiago del Teide stretch of the TF1. The works on the cracks in the bank around the Santiago del Teide end of the Bicho tunnel have apparently not yet started and are now being treated as an “emergency”, and should cost around half a million Euros: needless to say, the authorities are seeking a place to lay the blame and recuperate some of the cost. Also to be finished is the Barranco de Erques bridge, which has been more complicated than previously thought, with problems arising in the suspension tension and in the concreting. This at least might be finished, the ministers said, by mid-November.

Update 19 August: As of April, the final stretch of the motorway between Adeje and Santiago del Teide, namely the bit between Adeje and Vera de Erques, was to open “in the summer”. The bridge infrastructure is in place, and has been for months, and so the latest announcement that the road will finally be open in November or early December at the latest has been greeted with derision in some quarters, and annoyance in others. Even Tenerife president Carlos Alonso has expressed his irritation, albeit in muted terms, that after all the money supplied by the Cabildo, he has to read about the delay in the press rather than being informed directly.

The latest, none the less, was announced yesterday by Canarian Government Public Works minister Ornella Chacón, who ivsited the Barranco de Erques bridge along with deputy Infraestructuras & Transportes minister Alexis Rodríguez, and mayors of Guía de Isora and Adeje, Pedro Martín and Miguel Rodríguez Fraga (photo below). Already plans and monies are being discussed for the El Tanque to Icod completion of the entire motorway. Most of us in the west will settle for the moment for the completion of a bit of an existing stretch whose failure to open is now completely inexplicable.

It’ll be done for Christmas, anyway …

erques bridge

photo: Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento

Update 24 April: Super video here of the entire newly-opened stretch in both directions.

Update 10pm: Tenerife president Carlos Alonso says that the Vera de Erques to Las Manchas (Santiago del Teide) stretch of the TF1 extension has been opened this evening. President Alonso tweeted this photo of the first traffic through the Bicho tunnel.

Photo: Tenerife Cabildo
Photo: Tenerife Cabildo

Update 22 April: As you were. It didn’t open yesterday as announced because of a last-minute hitch. The original opening day was Monday but there was a last-minute hitch then with regard to safety concerns over the cracks in the banking at the Santiago del Teide end of the Bicho tunnel, but with reassurances received, the opening was formally announced for yesterday at noon.

Yesterday, however, some road markings were found to be missing in the Vera de Erques-Chio part of the stretch, the lights couldn’t be tested in the Bicho tunnel because of a software failure, and the bomberos found that some drain covers were plastic when they were meant to be metal.

Throughout yesterday the opening was postponed, first to 2pm, then to 6pm, but in the end, today dawns and the road is still not open to traffic. “Security is the main thing”, said the embarrassed authorities. “Getting your act together is the main thing”, said the frustrated drivers who’d turned up to christen the new road. Stand by, as they say.

Update 21 April: The Cabildo has announced that the 14.5km stretch of the TF1 extension between Vera de Erques and Las Manchas (Santiago del Teide) will open at lunchtime today. The entire stretch will be open to the public apart from one lane in the Bicho tunnel while repair works are finalised on the cracks in the banking at the Santiago del Teide end: the authorities say that these repairs are now a formality, however, and that the public can use the motorway with complete security. The final stretch, between Vera de Erques and Adeje, will open in the summer, and the bridge infrastructure is now in place, as seen in the most recent update below: all that remains is for the viaduct itself to be suspended from the arches, and that work is already underway

Copyright: Janet Anscombe – In Tenerife

Update 17 March: And below is a photo showing the placement of one of the two arches, now assembled, being swung into place over the barranco by a huge crane which has had to be specially brought in for the massive operation. Each arch weighs 120 tonnes, is 110m long, and has to be hoisted 55m into the air to be swung into place. It really is happening!

Copyright: Janet Anscombe – In Tenerife

Update 17 February 2015: Guía de Isora ayuntamiento says that the two 180m arches for the bridge over the barranco de Erques which forms part of the TF1 extension are now in Tenerife, and construction on the last remaining piece of the Adeje-Santiago del Teide stretch will begin next month. The bridge will be a 160m suspension design because the barranco de Erques is a protected area, and the size of the span meant that the infrastructure had to be made in stages in Italy and Cádiz. Each arch has been brought here in three sections, so six in total, and these will be transported to the barranco and assembled in situ. It is estimated that the process will take three or four months, becoming operational by the end of June, when the stretch is planned to be opened, as announced last November.

Update 25 November 2014: I imagine that most people’s response will be “I’ll believe it when I see it”, but an agreement has been signed today by the Canarian Government’s consejero de Obras Públicas, Transportes y Política Territorial, Domingo Berriel, and Tenerife President Carlos Alonso to finish the Adeje-Santiago del Teide stretch of the ring road motorway extension. The agreement will see €10m put into the works, €4m from the Cabildo and €6m from the the Canarian government. The stretch is expected to be functioning (maybe not fully finished but open to traffic) by the middle of 2015 in two parts – Vera de Erques to Santiago del Teide by end March, and Armeñime to Vera de Erques by end June.

Update 6 October 2014: The Canarian government says that its roadworks priority for 2015 is the completion of the southern section of the TF1, and that it has already set aside €6m from the public works budget for the El Bicho tunnel and the Adeje-Santiago del Teide stretch of the motorway. The government says that its commitment is based on the importance of the entire ringroad project, and will be fulfilled despite cuts at national level from €220m to €54m. The southern extension is currently the only works project that has a financial commitment for next year, and if works continue now as planned, will open in March 2015, and the sticking point of the barranco de Erques should see the first pair of arches for the viaduct in place by the end of next month.

Update 2 December 2013: Despite the timescales as posted immediately below, which saw the Icod-El Tanque extension completed next year and the Adeje-Santiago extention waiting until 2015, the Cabildo has now announced that the schedule and funding will be rearranged so that the south extension works will be brought forward, and the Adeje-Santiago stretch completed, in the main, in 2014. The Cabildo is now putting the change of schedule to the Canarian Government for final approval.

Unfortunately for those who live in the Tijoco-Tejina-Vera de Erques areas, it is their part – the ongoing seemingly insuperable problem with bridging the barranco de Erques – that will have to wait until 2015. The “main part” of the extension to be completed next year is the túnel del Bicho and the Vicácaro bridge. This means that the TF1, as far as traffic is concerned, will still end at Adeje, and resume at Tejina to continue on to Santiago del Teide (the so-called “chicken run” stretch), where it will find another gap awaiting completion through El Tanque.

I suppose we should really be pleased that some works are going ahead, but at some point they really are going to have to come to terms with bridging that Erques barranco … otherwise the whole extension will have been something of a joke.

Update 7 November 2013:  The Tenerife Cabildo and the Canarian Government have jointly announced funding for next year that guarantees the completion of the TF1 extension by 2015. Cabildo president Carlos Alonso said that the island would receive €146.7m from the regional government for road development, a sum which would permit prioritised works to continue despite “brutal” cuts in funding from Madrid. The road funding in Tenerife will be directed to completing the northern Icod-El Tanque portion of the ring road with funding of €131m; this should be open to traffic during the course of next year. The southern Santiago del Teide-Adeje stage, with total funding of €10m between 2014 and 2015, should be open in 2015.

Because this saga has been ongoing so long, I’ve split previous posts to make it less unwieldy on the front page. All previous posts are HERE.

This article has 43 Comments

  1. Hi Janet
    Is it possible to have a link to the map you published above so I can make it bigger please.

  2. It’s an image saved to my hard drive, Lynne, I’m afraid, rather than online, and that was its maximum size. It’s the only one I have. Sorry.

  3. This is wonderful news for all of us that live in the North. We have been coming for 40 years and have seen many changes but this one is very
    Needed and way overdue.

  4. Nice to see TF1 extension is open and looks to be a great route but why isn’t it dual carriageway and why is there only one lane (with a solid white line) downhill? A lot of the bridges look as if there is provision for widening in future. Is this widening in a programme? Also it doesn’t seem to connect onto the old stretch of TF1 where the old roundabout for the Playa San Juan/Alcala turnoff was. The overpass was built but it looks like the new part isn’t linked directly to it. Maybe it’s a bit hard to tell and it’s a few years since I was last in Tenerife.

  5. The extension was always planned as a “chicken run” … and there is no widening in prospect. It will all connect, though, in due course with the spur motorway to Fonsalia.

  6. Thank you, Janet, for this prompt reply. I’m not sure what you mean by “chicken run” and, being an infrequent visitor to Tenerife, I don’t know where Fonsalia is!

  7. It is on the coast … the place the motorway spur will lead down to, where the new ferry port will go. It’s between Playa San Juan and Alcala. A chicken run is a three-lane road. There’s one, for example, over the all the valleys in south Wales, called not surprisingly the Heads of the Valleys road. There were always head-on collisions on it.

  8. Hello Janet, concerning the village of Fonsalia I kindly have two questions:
    a) when will the new access road from the motorway to the coast open; and
    b) which destinations will the new ferry port in Fonsalia serve in the future ?
    In March or April we want to spend our holidays on “your” island, and then want to make use of both abovementioned projects, if completed until next spring.

  9. Hi Maresch, I don’t know when, but the plan is for the floating port to serve all the ferry connections that currently go out of Los Cristianos, moving the port entirely from there. This won’t happen before next Spring, though, I would put money on it!

  10. We have just driven the TF1 extension from Vera de Erques to the big roundabout near Santiago deal Tiede and back again. It’s not really a chicken run, from Vera de Erques to Santiago del Teide it’s mostly uphill and its two lanes all the way with overtaking allowed. The tunnel is a lot longer than I had imagined, certainly over half a kilometre. Coming back downhill,it’s single lane apart from in the big tunnel and the camber is a bit weird. You seem to be leaning over to the left all,the way down the hill, no need to touch the accelerator most of the way down. Some interesting views have been opened up but watch out for the crosswinds on the bridges over the barrancos. I can see some people following slow traffic downhill,will be tempted to cross the solid white line to overtake. Today it would not have been an issue as there was hardly any traffic but there will be accidents caused by idiots. No services of any kind available and no Miradors signposted despite their being some good views. When the spur to Fonsalia opens it will be useful. let’s hope they get the Alcala bypass built before that or Alacala will be a bigger bottleneck than at present.

  11. To make map larger

    Use left button on mouse to Highlight it
    Right click to copy it
    Go into word or some other package
    Now paste it and enlarge it from there

  12. Hello again Janet – I’m back for the first time since Dec 2011 and have just driven on the newly-opened road but I’m perplexed by the “missing link” between the end of TF1 at Adeje and the start of the new section. When is it expected that the two bits will be joined together? By the way, it’s great to be back in Tenerife!

  13. Sorry Janet, that’s wrong. They say the last section will be open by December 2015. It’s the bridge at Vera de Erques that has been holding things up.

  14. Thanks for the responses – maybe by the time we manage to visit Tenerife again it will be open. In the meantime we could always return to Fuerteventura to check progress on the road schemes there!!!

  15. I missed that emoticon Janet. Interestingly I went up to Guia de Isora via Piedra Hincada and you cross the motorway Spurs to Fonsalia. Surprisingly they are working on it 😨

  16. yes, very surprisingly since they are “not” working on it, at least not officially ….. meanwhile the Erques barranco bridge is in place but not finished. Why? No-one seems to know …

    It’ll be a nice Christmas present anyway when it opens …. if it opens …

  17. I have been following your updates on the TF1 extension and read that it had opened in April 15 but the latest update suggests it will be Christmas which confused me a little; easily done. Is it just the connection from TF1 to the Motorway that is incomplete at Adeje?

  18. There are two final stages to complete the entire ring road. One is planned for the next few years but the current one being completed is from Adeje to Santiago del Teide. This stretch is virtually completed but they ran into problems with the bridge over the barranco de Erques and because of this only half the stretch has been opened – it was the second half of the extension, i.e. between the barranco de Erques and Santiago del Teide that was opened in April.

    So coming from the Costa Adeje, drivers still have to come off the motorway where they always have, and rejoin it immediately after the barranco de Erques – they take the Vera de Erques junction off the main road down to the motorway. Once the bridge is finished (hopefully December), the whole stretch will be opened.

  19. Work started on digging up one of the lanes into the Bicho tunnel at the Santiago del Teide end this morning. Lane been blocked off for over a month now.

  20. Yes, you can go up and over Teide, or across the TF5 to El Tanque, then the old road to Santiago del Teide and down to Los Gigantes.

  21. Hi Janet,

    Is the new motorway from Adeje to Guia de Isora open yet? or are they still working on the bridge over the barranco de Erques?

    Kind regards


  22. They say it will open in December, but they said back in April it would open in June. Fingers crossed for December 2015 sometime.

  23. Thanks Stewart,

    We are over on 29th November for a week and was hoping to go straight to Gia on the motorway but looks like we cant at the moment. never mind, we have only been waiting 8 years so what is a few more days.



  24. It will be next month now. They have finished the carriageway installation within the bridge framework over the barranco de Erques. That was inspected successfully last Friday, and is now going to be tested within the next ten days by being completely filled with heavy loaded lorries. That’s something to watch!! Assuming it doesn’t collapse into the barranco it will be given the all clear for public traffic. They’ve finished, or just about, the repairs to the cracks at the end of the Bicho tunnel. This is looking good for early to mid December.

  25. Mark, even when the last bit on this side of the island opens you won’t be going “straight to Guia” on the motorway. The junction with the TF46 is about a kilometre from Guia and while the road below the junction has been repaired and improved, the road up to Guia is still potholed, has tree roots disrupting it and is generally rubbish.

  26. Stewart,

    Do you mean the TF463? Thanks as that was the road I was thinking of, it has never been great. But once the road is open should reduce the time from Las Americas to Guia and remove the drive along that old road full of bends and tunnels. We are looking forward to a faster trip, only by 5 minutes or so but a lot less stressful.



  27. Janet,

    It will be a little worrying for the poor lorry drivers that have to park on the bridge, although I am sure the engineers will have got the calculations right.

    thanks for the update

  28. He must mean TF463, Mark, there’s no TF46, and it’s that road that the Guía junction will be on. I was on it recently myself, and it is indeed awful, as he says!

    As to the lorries on the bridge, I’m hoping to get five minutes advance warning – that’s all I need – to get down there to take a photo! I think it would be an incredible sight … from a distance, of course …

  29. Just to update the Guía junction issue, they are now saying that the road up to the town will not be opening with the motorway, but are looking like the road should be ready by the end of January.

  30. yes, and yes! And now there are blue motorway signs up over the carriageway ready to be opened as well …

  31. Janet,

    Thanks for the update that’s great news, did it get photographed by any chance? as I am sure it was a remarkable sight.



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