The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, together with former Chief Minister Sir Peter Caruana, inaugurated Kingsway this afternoon.
Kingsway incorporates the road and tunnels that run from Devil’s Tower Road to the Eastgate roundabout.
Sir Peter Caruana was the Chief Minister at the time that the tunnel was commissioned.
As from 00:01 on Friday 31st March, Kingsway will be the only regular access point for all cars and motorcycles (including commercial vehicles) to the frontier, Gibraltar International Airport, Eroski supermarket, Western Beach and Four Corners.
It will also be the only regular vehicular access point from Gibraltar into Europe.
The Chief Minister and former Chief Minister each drove northbound through Kingsway in their respective G1 vehicles, before cutting ribbons at the Eastgate entrance. This was followed by a short reception at the Wessex Lounge.
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo reflected on and celebrated the efforts across both administrations to bring the tunnel, and the litigation that suspended its construction for almost 5 years, to successful completion. The Chief Minister thanked the workers, those on the ground, the engineering teams, the project management teams, GJBS, and his predecessor Sir Peter Caruana for their work over almost 15 years that will bring an end to the need for traffic to stop to allow aircraft to land and depart at Gibraltar’s runway.
The former Chief Minister Sir Peter Caruana reflected on the history, complexity and controversy of the long-term project, as well as the extent of the infrastructural change that has taken place in Gibraltar over the last 35 years due to the investment of successive Governments. Sir Peter then posited that this investment impacts the perspective of visitors and future inward investors to Gibraltar, and requires a long-term vision for the benefit and betterment of Gibraltar as a whole rather than of individual administrations.
At midnight tonight, before the barriers on Winston Churchill Avenue close to vehicular traffic for the final time, G1 will be the last vehicle to ever drive across the runway. Minutes later, G1 will be the first vehicle to drive through Kingsway as it is officially opened as a public highway.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, said: ‘I am honoured today to inaugurate Kingsway together with my predecessor, the former Chief Minister Sir Peter Caruana, under whose administration the tunnel was commissioned. This major national infrastructure project has spanned both our successive governments and has required us, as political opponents and never political enemies, to work towards a long-term goal for the benefit of Gibraltar as a whole. Kingsway will stand as a testament to the collective Gibraltarian spirit and resolve in ensuring the betterment today of the Gibraltar of tomorrow.’