A three kilometre tunnel running under Palma from the old port to the Via Cintura ring road could be part of the solution to the capital's traffic problems. The president of the Port Authority, Francesc Triay, yesterday unveiled the results of an impact study in to Palma's access problems with the conclusion being a 75 million euros (12.500 million) tunnel. Triay said that, taking into account the city council's plan to reform Palma's sea front, traffic access to the commercial docks, an important lifeline for the islands, will become even more restricted and the Port Authority wants to resolve the situation before it is too late. Before the city council unveiled its enormous project for the sea front between the GESA building and along past El Molinar, Triay was studying a number of plans drawn up to ease industrial traffic along the Paseo Maritimo, but now the Port Authority says the need for a fast, safe and well organised access route to the docks is fundamental. The tunnel project is to be presented to Palma City Council so that when it comes to making final decisions, the council is fully aware of the implications of the project. Central government funding has also got to be secured, but the Ministry for Development has a budget of over 607 million euros (100.000 million pesetas) for port and airport projects this year. Triay said that Palma docks are vital for the future of Majorca, adding that by constructing an easy access route to the docks, merchant shipping will be able to expand.

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