Spain’s Costa Blanca sees Awarding of Building Contract for Long-Awaited Orihuela Costa Emergency Centre

THE long wait for the completion of the unfinished Orihuela Costa Emergency Centre at La Zenia has reached the final phase, after a €2 million contract was awarded to complete the facility.

The Doalco company was the successful bidder for the Orihuela Council tender, and once legal formalities have been finished, they will have six months to do the work.

“Formal paperwork for Doalco to get going will be signed once we return to normal after the State of Alarm,” said Orihuela’s Emergencies councillor Victor Valverde.

He added that a contract to oversee the health and safety aspects of the project still needed to be awarded.

A list of bidders was being processed and an announcement would be made soon.

The drawn-out saga of the centre dates back to the original contractor going bust in 2012, with just the very basic shell of the building constructed close to the Consum supermarket.

There then followed years of inactivity from the Valencian regional government and Orihuela Council, with regular protests and complaints by Orihuela Costa residents that their needs were being ignored.

A change in political control in Valencia in 2015 led to the start of the log-jam being broken, and plans for a revised centre were submitted in 2017 taking into account new budgets and new safety requirements.

Promised dates for tenders to be advertised came and went, as authorities in Orihuela and Valencia fell out over who should take responsibility for the work, with the regional government eventually decreeing that Orihuela should be in charge.

Last summer, Orihuela Council said that a tender was about to be advertised but nothing happened, with European Union grant money to help fund the ending this coming December.

The building will house all of the Orihuela Costa’s emergency services like the Guardia Civil, Local Police, firefighters, and civil protection volunteers.

The centre will also have ambulances based there during the busy summer tourist season, and a helicopter landing pad.

Response times to incidents will be significantly improved on current timings, with emergency teams frequently making journeys from areas outside the Orihuela Costa.

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Written by

Alex Trelinski