The entire resort appears to be a building site at the moment, stretching from the Rincon de Loix to the Old Town with traffic diversions, diggers and workmen virtually everywhere you look. A challenging €11.4 million project to completely remodel the Avenida Mediterraneo, the main artery running through the resort has begun.
The top end, at the Plaza Triangular – where the huge rubber tree is, has been closed to traffic, with cars and buses diverted whilst underground works are being carried out to renew the channeling, waste and water pipe networks. The area will be landscaped to totally transform the look, with the centrepiece being an ornamental fountain and 23 metre tall tower.
Halfway down, at the intersection with the Avd Europa more digging is taking place - looks like the little roundabout with statue is being made bigger and after years of stagnation, works have recommenced on Benidorm’s Casa de Cultura along the Avenida Europa.
To date €20 million has been spent on what in effect was an abandoned concrete monster - started in 2002 and till now just been home to squatters. A further €10.5 million has been pledged to complete the first phase, which includes one music conservatory, a 546 seater auditorium and the all important cafeteria. Most towns in Spain have a cultural centre, where concerts and events take place and so it is almost an embarassment that Benidorm does not have one in residents eyes!
Down at the Rincon end, the Ametlla del Mar, the main road running down alongside the popular Indoor Market has major excavation works taking place, installing large capacity pipes to increase and speed up the drainage of water, a reoccurring issue in the area which is prone to flooding during periods of torrential rain and planned to be complete for Easter.
Then phase 2 begins – new pavements, lighting, benches, trees and the obligatory bike lane plus the construction of another roundabout at the junction with Avenida de Zamora, the road where the cinema is.
The Tourist Information Office, attached to the relocated SATE office opposite the Flash hotel has already closed whilst it is being extended. Considering that it only opened last April and was specifically built for the purpose someone in planning wasn’t paying attention to the spec!
The low season is an ideal time when hotels here carry out renovations and the Hotel Helios, next to Jokers nightclub and virtually a stone’s throw from the outdoor market is having a major overhaul. Numerous workmen are there daily and it is meant to be reopen in time for Easter – 2019 I assume!
For those coming here on holiday over the next few months my suggestion is don't bother with hiring a car if you are staying in the centre - it's bad enough for those of us that know all the roads and shortcuts...