Potholes set to be patched up
Company contracted for Orihuela Costa streets
The street and pavement maintenance contract for the coast was handed to the company UTE Viales Orihuela Costa this week for €757,400 a year.
By Nuria Pérez THE STREET and pavement maintenance contract for Orihuela Costa was handed to the company UTE Viales Orihuela Costa this week for €757,400 a year.
Councillor for infrastructure Juan Ignacio López-Bas explained that it will run for four years, although it can be extended for another two years until December 2025.
Sr López-Bas told Costa Blanca News the agreement includes all new streets in Orihuela Costa which were not included in the former contract – and the budget has been increased by up to 50%.
The tender procedure was launched in December 2017, but it has taken the council a year to assess the bids and contract the company due to the dramatic shortage of qualified council officers.
“Only two civil servants are qualified and entitled to work on such tenders and one of them has been on longterm sick leave,” said the councillor.
He stressed that the contract covers the maintenance of all streets and pavements – except private ones inside urbanisations – and ‘accessibility works’ on pavements.
He noted that maintenance means ‘patch works and filling in holes in the streets’ and repairing damaged pavements.
“Resurfacing of seriously damaged streets like those in La Florida is not considered to be maintenance and is a different service which is carried out by the council,” he explained. According to Sr López-Bas, up to €7 million would have to be invested to resurface all the seriously damaged roads and streets in Orihuela Costa.
“A total of €1.5 million has been spent since February 2017 on resurfacing works and another €500,000 has been budgeted for the streets which are in a poor condition,” he said.
“These works are considered investments and are paid with funds from the land auction sale.”
Residents and associations have complained many times about potholes, zebra crossings and lack of street signs and pavements, but no comprehensive repair schemes have been carried out.
The contract with the company formerly awarded the maintenance service expired in December 2016.
Councillor López-Bas admitted that maintenance had been provided in an irregular way by the company formerly awarded the contract.
According to Sr López-Bas, council officers issued a report on damage to streets and pavements that had to be repaired and the company did the job.
Payments were delayed due to the opposition of the council’s auditor to paying an invoice with no contract.
Potholes in the road leading to Playa Flamenca secondary school