José Sergio Gabrielli, the current Planning Secretary of Bahia, said in his weekly program, that the daily flow of trucks, motorcycles and cars crossing the Salvador-Itaparica bridge is expected to amount to 140,000 vehicles per day by 2043. He added that the infrastructure project would create a new industrial and logistics heart in the greater Salvador area, generating income and jobs in the Recôncavo, Southern Low and South Coast region, where various investment projects are already in progress. He cited the shipyards in São Roque do Paraguaçu and Maragogipe, and the new retroárea of Salvador's port. For investors in real estate, the bridge project represents numerous opportunities to get involved right at the start.
If some architects's proposals are successful in their bid, a new road would run through a number of historic cities: Santao Amoro, Cachoeira, São Felix, Maragogipe, São Roque and Itaparica, Gabrielli said in his program. This would be a "bucolic road". A "bucolic road" running along the Bay of All Saints could potentially bring more tourism to the area, the Secretary explained.
However, he explained that one of the advantages of a bridge linking Salvador to the island was a reduction in time that it took to drive from the capital to the 24 municipalities that lie between. Time saved was more than 40%, he said. The bridge project is expected to revive the area and entice people to live in Itaparica and Vera Cruz. The road runs for ca. 110 km, about a 3 hour drive, he added. At present passenger ferry services taking 40 minutes to cross run from Salvador to Mar Grande on Itaparica.
Unlike the bucolic, low-flow road, the Salvador Itaparica bridge project involved "structuring interventions", he said, adding that the transportation of people and heavy and light goods would also have to be taken into account, as they affect the urbanisation of the area and enhance the local economy, one of which is tourism.
The Secretary explained that the Salvador-Itaparica bridge would see an increased flow of vehicles year-on-year, reaching 140,000 vehicles per day in the next 30 years. Gabrielli was not in favour of the coastal road as an alternative to the bridge project, saying that the impacts on the area were more likely to be "negative", especially to the environment. The landscape through which the road would run consists mainly of mangroves, and a road would cause damage to the historic fabric of ancient cities and towns. The sheer amount of traffic would also disrupt "urban mobility", he added.
The Island of Itaparica sits at the estuary of the Bay of All Saints, at the Atlantic coast of the state of Bahia, some 10 km from the capital Salvador. The island has two municipalities, Vera Cruz and Itaparica. The island boasts some 40 km of beaches, lined by lush tropical vegetation. The Bay of All Saints is Brazil's largest bay, and Itaparica is the country's largest island. It already has a number of holiday homes used by Salvador's inhabitants. Praia Barra Grande is considered the island's finest public beach. It lines the shores of the village of Barra Grande, which has a nearby ferry dock at Mar Grande. There are already several holiday homes along this stretch of coastline.
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