CARTAGENA. The Plaza de la Merced in Cartagenacommonly called Lake, it will gain space for pedestrians – by doubling its surface area – by eliminating car traffic and incorporating the surrounding road network into a single platform. This is one of the keys to the remodeling works of this emblematic enclave of Cartagena to make it the new ‘The Place of Culture in Cartagena’. This was announced this Friday by the mayor, Noelia Arroyoduring the act with which the works of the first phase of the project, which will have a duration of three months and a budget of €340,000. This work will be compatible with the next archaeological excavation project in the center of the square, which is in the development phase. All actions that will begin will be supervised by a group of archaeologists.
Among the actions that will be carried out in El Lago, stand out, as the mayor explained, “the suppression of car traffic in the square and the raising of the level of the sidewalk of the road to transform this area into a pedestrian public space “. Thanks to all the renovations, “a peripheral space of 1,700 square meters, double the current area of the square”, underlined the municipal architect, Angel Alcaraz. This will be achieved “by using the surrounding road network and transforming the space into a single platform”, added the municipal architect.
will also install basic reusable furniturethat allows intergenerational activities, thanks to the incorporation of benches and tablesin addition to the infrastructures with which to practice urban sports, gerontogymnastics and children’s games. All are “temporary and reversible elements, which allow us to use them or not depending on the activity in space,” Arroyo said.
In addition, they will be placed planters in which different types of vegetation will be planted, from shrubs to trees. The four historical palm treeswhich are already in the square, will have to be transplanted for archaeological excavations.
“We are going to replace the entire sanitation and drinking water network around the square,” added the municipal architect. Thus, 120 linear meters of sanitation and 200 meters of water will be replaced.
For his part, the manager of Hidrogea in the region, Andres Martinez, He insisted on the fact that these actions “are the result of a public-private collaboration between the town hall and the concessionaire, which has repercussions on improving the quality of life of the inhabitants”.
The mayor explained that during the process of the first phase of the project, “the installation of a fence that allows us to monitor all the progress that is taking place in the archaeological field” will be carried out. This will move as the excavation work progresses.
“We think there are very important archaeological elements in the square because of the documentation we have of them,” said Alcaraz, who said the excavations “will take up the whole square, about 800 square meters”.
The first mayor indicated that the works were designed so that “this necessary coexistence of the action of the Infrastructures with the Archaeological Heritage can be achieved”. In this way, Arroyo recalled that the excavation project is being developed and will begin in 2023, after approval by the General Directorate of Archaeological Heritage.
A meeting place for neighbors and tourists
The first mayor explained that it is a project located in an area that “is one of the central places of the historic center and for this government it is one of the strategic points in its recovery process “. Likewise, he indicated that thanks to the works that will be carried out over the next three months, the Plaza del Lago will become “a space of leisure for its neighbors and a meeting point for the inhabitants of Cartagena and visitors”, adding that is an initiative that “has the consensus of the neighbors and of all of you who give life to the space”.
In this sense, Arroyo recalled that to know the impressions of citizens “we launched a participatory project in August 2020, in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Cartagena to find out what neighbors, businessmen and groups wanted “.
The presentation was also attended by the Deputy Mayor, Ana Belen Castejon; deputy mayor, Manuel Padin; infrastructure advisor, Diego Ortega; the person in charge of the infrastructures of the town hall, Vincent Perez; as well as a representation Big Brothers of Holy Week in Cartagenafrom business area and neighbors area.