Costa del Sol News - 8th January 2010

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Málaga to Córdoba in 75 minutes

Officials inaugurate final stretch of the 150-kilometre A45 motorway

By Dave Jamieson

The missing link in the motorway from Málaga to Córdoba was finally completed last week when the last four-kilometre stretch of the A45 autovía was fully opened to traffic.  Construction of the new road began in 2000 but the plans were first proposed 17 years ago.

The final 11.5 kilometres between Encinas Reales and Benamejí in the province of Córdoba have cost 66.12 million euros to construct and have been the most difficult in the autovía's 150-kilometre length.  A new 600-metre viaduct carrying one carriageway was built over the Genil river and, when it opened in August, initially carried two-way traffic.  This allowed the old bridge across the river, some 800 metres away, to be closed and upgraded to carry the other carriageway.  Once this was done, the old bridge opened to traffic last week, completing the final stretch of the road more than a year behind scheduled. 

Motorway links

Now that the A45 is fully operational, the road journey between Málaga and Córdoba has been reduced by 20 kilometres while the driving time has been cut from two and half hours before the motorway was built to just 75 minutes now.  The road, formerly the N331, has been named the Autovía de Málaga and has junctions with the A92 Granada-Sevilla autovía at Antequera, and with the A4 Cádiz-Sevilla-Madrid motorway just south of Córdoba.  Its total cost has been around 400 million euros

Golfers score new home for friend in need

John Gadd had been evicted but benefit tournament helps buy him a new caravan

NEWS Staff Reporter

Christmas came early for John Gadd last week when a group of golfing friends in Mijas came together to set him up in a new caravan after he had lost his previous home.

Mr Gadd, who suffered lifelong health problems from injuries sustained as a child during the London Blitz in WWII, came to the Costa del Sol 20 years ago after his doctor said the Mediterranean climate would benefit his health. Since then he had lived in his caravan but recently was evicted.

Then, "along came a bunch of golfing Santas from the SomePlace Else sports bar to the rescue," said Frank Bowles, who was involved in the efforts to help Mr Gadd out of his troubles. "Scoobie, Len Proctor, Mick McGrath and John Walker went to work! Within a few days of hearing about his impending eviction they had not only found him a site for his caravan but decided to buy him a new mobile home as the old one was falling apart and past its sell-by-date! He was well established in his new 'mansion' for Christmas, complete with electricity and satellite TV for the first time in 20 years!"

Raising the funds

To raise the funds necessary, friends Martin McAteer and John Teague organised a social evening in the Tamisa Hotel, bringing in 1,000 euros towards the 5,500-euro cost. Tony Bellamy, the president of the Mijas La Cala Lions, pledged a further 1,000 euros on the same evening.

The group then organised a benefit tournament at Santana Golf, which was attended by over 80 players, followed by a fish and chip meal at SomePlace Else. The event produced a further 2,237 euros, leaving the target just 1,263 euros short. Other functions to help make up the difference are currently being planned.

The organisers of effort, along with Mr Gadd, thank all of the golfers who came together to help out a friend in need. "Thanks must also go out to Alistair at Global Radio, Salva at Santana Golf and SomePlace Else owner Craig Davis and Tony Honeysett for their contributions," said Mr Bowles.