Updated 1 January 2017: For anyone who’s been excited about the new Fonsalia spur but can’t get to drive it yet, here’s a video starting at the Vera de Erques junction, going down to the new roundabout halfway between Playa san Juan and Alcalá, and then back up. What a gorgeous road it is, and what a view it offers!
Updated 30 December 2016: As promised, it’s open! Guía de Isora mayor Pedro Martín, who was present for the official opening, said that the new stretch is a vast improvement, but that it just marks the beginning of real pressure now for the Alcalá bypass, a long-desired road seen as essential to relieve the bottleneck that so often clogs up traffic in the town.
The “Fonsalia spur” is a three-lane stretch connecting the Vera de Erques junction of the TF1 and the coast road between Playa San Juan and Alcalá. It has cost some €35m in total, and is expected to provide better access to some 27,000 vehicles daily using the Adeje, Guía de Isora and Santiago del Teide coastal roads.
Updated 29 December: At last, it’s ready! Canarian Government Road Infrastructure director José Luis Delgado says that the Fonsalia spur motorway will open tomorrow, Friday 30 December. The photos below show the finished works which will make a major reduction in the traffic between Armeñime and Playa San Juan, and make it far easier for the Guía de Isora pueblos to access the coastal towns. The new road will be one lane downhill and two up, and is 5.6km long, and as such will have a speed limit of 80km/h like the TF1 extension known as the chicken run between the Vera junction and Santiago del Teide.
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!
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.
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 …
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.
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
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!
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.