Via Laietana embarks on the process to become greener, friendlier and more sustainableThe first stage of work between Pl. Urquinaona and Pl. Antoni Maura gets under way on 1 March and should take fourteen months to complete. Mobility in the avenue will be disrupted during the work.
The revamp to Via Laietana is based on the Barcelona Superblock Plan, which moves on from the private transport model applied to date and centres instead on sustainable mobility.
This model for urban transformation promotes more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. The goal is a safer and more accessible street, with more spaces for public use, for connecting adjacent neighbourhoods better on each side, for boosting local commerce and cutting pollution and noise in the vicinity.
Work on the first stage gets under way on 1 March and includes the renewal and improvement of existing service networks below ground, such as the safe water supply, the power grid, municipal telecommunications and more.
The work also entails an urban revamp to the section between Urquinaona and Antoni Maura, which will see pavements widened to 4.05 metres and more spaces for people to walk in. A new Pl. Antoni Maura will connect the cathedral with the Mercat de Santa Caterina. The junction with C/ Jonqueres will also be reconditioned and a new pedestrian crossing created. Extra trees will be added to boost greenery, with paving and lighting also to be improved.
Disruptions to mobility during the work
Work will centre on the Besòs side of the street through until early April, occupying one of the downhill traffic lanes. However, the biggest disruption will come early in April, with work to be carried out on the Llobregat side of the street.
During the first stage, traffic heading in the direction of the mountains will be limited to just one exclusive lane for local people, access to parking and services in the section as far as Pl. Antoni Maura. In the direction heading towards the sea there will be a bus lane and a traffic lane for private vehicles.
The alternative route heading upwards will be via Av. Marquès de l’Argentera, Pg. Picasso, Pg. Lluís Companys and Ronda Sant Père. The 47, V15 and V17 bus services heading towards the mountain will be diverted along this route, while the 120 neighbourhood bus service will keep its usual route. This new configuration will also apply to journeys by bike.
In terms of commerce, shops and markets are to stay open during the work with updated information given on the location of loading and unloading areas.
No significant disruptions are planned at the exits to the metro system or in the spaces reserved for people with reduced mobility and hotels. The taxi rank in Pl. Antoni Maura will remain operative until work is carried out there, at which point it will be permanently relocated to C/ Joaquim Pou.
A team of information staff are working on the ground to explain the disruptions to commerce and local people. Regular information will be given on changes which occur.
Once the first stage is completed, work will start on the second section, between Pl. Antoni Maura and Pl. Antonio López (to become Pl. Idrissa Diallo).
The overall budget for the transformation of Via Laietana is 32.9 million euros.