THE Sierra Nevada ski resort, a major tourist attraction in Granada, has made the welcome decision to reopen the main A-395 access road over the weekend.
A vital stretch of the A-395 has been closed after a large rockfall on 29 January, leading to lengthy diversions along alternative routes that use narrow mountain passes. As these routes support traffic in one direction only, tailbacks have resulted, adding at least an hour to the journey.
According to a bulletin on the official resort page, the A-395 will now be open until 8am on Monday 6 February, avoiding traffic chaos during a peak weekend for winter sports enthusiasts.
The Olive Press previously reported problems with the allocated diversion routes, which are inconsistently signposted and send motorists via El Purche and Güéjar Sierra. The narrow tracks, with tight bends, are unsuitable for large or heavy vehicles. Cars were witnessed snaking along these minor roads, with some motorists becoming visibly frustrated.
The rockfall happened on Sunday 29 January, at kilometre 16 of the A-395, near the La Higuera restaurant. It injured eight people, including a baby and a two-year-old, and damaged some vehicles.
With the road closed between Los Pinillos and Las Sabinas, traffic to the popular resort was likely to be compromised during the weekend.
Winter sports enthusiasts are attracted by the resort’s 106.8km of slopes and 21 ski lifts, on the north flank of Valeta, in a season running until April. On Tuesday, the Pradollano resort was noticeably busy, with motorists having issues accessing the area, and returning to Granada.
To keep traffic flowing, the A-395 will be open at the following times:
- Until 8.00
- From 10.00 to 11.00
- From 14.00 to 15.00
- From 17.30 until 8.00 the following day.
When the A-395 is closed, access uphill to the ski resort is via GR3202 Carretera de El Purche (Granada-Monachil-Pradollano). This is a winding mountain pass, with many curves.
During these times, exit (descent) from the ski resort is via the GR-3200 / GR-4030 Carretera de Hazallanas (Pradollano-Dornajo-Güéjar Sierra-Granada). This route proves arduous, with cars snaking along in single file. Both roads are without hard shoulders, and any vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction will cause circulation problems because of the lack of passing places.
According to the Monachil police, descending in the contra direction on the GR3202 Carretera del Purche is allowed only for residents of the town, from 16.00hrs, and they must carry proof of residency.
Motorists are advised to use Google Maps for GPS route assistance.
There is no current information as to when the A-395 will be fully reopened.