The coastal road known as ‘La Marginal’ runs 10 km southward from the international airport of São Tomé to the town of Pantufo, located about 3 km from the is land’s capital. This road plays a key role in the social and economic development of the country and, above all, in fostering tourism.
The area’s high tropical rainfall, rising sea levels and the surge in storms hitting Lagarto Bay, Ana Chaves Bay and Pantufo Coast are evidence of the effects of climate change. The road is particularly vulnerable to these phenomena and significant deterioration has induced the Government of the country to include it in the Climate Action Plan based on 2015 Paris agreement objectives.
The São Tome and Príncipe Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment has undertaken road reconstruction with funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). TYPSA is in charge of the design for the reconstruction of ‘La Marginal’, also known as Avenida del 12 de Julio.
The project features a variety of actions along its 10 km, including rehabilitating and upgrading the avenue to create a more recreational urban space. Pedestrian paths and cycle lanes will be incorporated, and the roadside will be landscaped for the enjoyment of tourists and locals alike, respecting heritage trees and consolidating new green areas. Accesses to hotels, neighbouring properties, churches and monuments, such as San Sebastian Fort will be refurbished.
“Improving and protecting roads vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”
Further specifications include road safety infrastructure to help reduce the island’s high accident rate, and specific maritime climate and wave propagation studies for the repair and new construction of balustrades, structures and defence walls. Accesses and coastal protection at fishing fleet landing points will also be upgraded as well as tourist beach amenities.
The contract comprises terrestrial and marine environmental studies, social studies and research on tourism development, and the preparation of all the documentation required for contracting the construction works.