The so-called “Gaia metro line two”, which will require the construction of a bridge over the Douro, is included in the Municipal Master Plan of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is under review, as stated by the President of the city council on Tuesday.
In statements to the Lusa agency, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues pointed out that “it will be necessary to solve some details of construction capacities in zones that will become metro protection zones”, but he reminded readers that the line “is already known and is based on a past proposal”.
“The demand studies [of Metro do Porto] are very clear about this need, but there was no money [to make progress with this section that includes the Pink Line, and the extension of the Yellow Line between Santo Ovídeo and Vila D’Este], but this is a line that will provide an excellent service to Gaia and southern districts, such as Espinho and Ovar, as well as the interest of Porto”, stated the mayor.
The line in question runs from Santo Ovídio-Devesas-Campo Alegre, and is known as “Gaia’s second line”.
The Minister of the Environment told Lusa this Tuesday that the government will launch an ideas competition for a new bridge over the river Douro, linking Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia for the metro line “as soon as possible”.
The news was released on Sunday by Matos Fernandes who, in an interview with Jornal de Notícias, announced that the Government plans to launch a “major international public tender” in 2021 for the construction of a new metro line between Casa da Música, in Porto, and Santo Ovídeo, in Vila Nova de Gaia. “Objectively no decision will be made about this line until the end of the year.
The decision the government has taken is to move forward with the bridge, which is something that will take much longer. Basically we are bringing forward a piece of infrastructure, the bridge, which will make the Devesas line possible”, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues stated to Lusa.
Applauding the Government’s initiative, which he stated that he already knew about, the Mayor of Gaia, who is also president of the Metropolitan Area of Porto, emphasised that he told the Minister of the Environment that “he wants to guarantee conditions to be able to announce all of the other necessary lines by the end of this year or the start of the next” to Greater Porto.
“We cannot live in a country where everything is done in Lisbon and the rest of the country has to make choices”, stressed Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues. As for the design of the new Gaia line, the mayor described that the bridge over the Douro River will, on the south side, span the VL8, a road running around the edge of Arrábida Shopping.
In the city centre, the new line will connect the Devesas railway station to the Santo Ovídio metro station, which is currently served by the Yellow Line that terminates at the São João Hospital, in Porto.
“An increasingly fundamental part of a metro line is to have an interface with something, even a car park. In this case it is with a railway station. The Devesas to Santo Ovídeo section is being planned because everybody realises that the Yellow Line is at breaking point but does not yet suffer the overloads of Vila D’Este, where there are 16,000 people, and that the hospital will experience”, stated the Mayor.
From Devesas, the new line will pass through the Misericórdia de Vila Nova de Gaia and GaiaHotel zone before reaching Santo Ovídio. Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues believes that this line is “fundamental” for Gaia, as well as for the parishes and districts to the south, but he also underlined the interest of Porto.
“Technicians studied a way to split up the people who want to travel to Baixa [in Porto] and those who go to Boavista and Campo Alegre (…). It’s in Porto’s interest not to have everyone blocking up the [station of] Trindade,” he continued.
As for the southern area, the mayor gave the following example: “Currently, anybody travelling from the south arrives at General Torres, goes up Avenida da República and takes the metro from Trindade to the different zones of Porto: Boavista, Casa da Música.
This will provide a direct train/metro link through Devesas”. The mayor admits that the work will be “extensive” but a real “bargain”, and that the “problems is that the work is being done in the middle of a consolidated urban structure”.
“There is space, although a small section will have to be in a tunnel and, in some cases, the Municipality will have to decide to replace an area of road with a metro area”, concluded the President of the city council, without “yet being able” to give an idea of values or deadlines, as it is something that is in a “preliminary study” phase.