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Paphos Seafront Redevelopment by KG, February 2007

Residents of Paphos and visitors alike cannot fail to have noticed the massive redevelopment of the Kato Paphos promenade area. In an area that relies on tourism, there was never going to be a good time to undertake work that was going to last around five months, but the winter offered the probability of least disruption to tourism, provided the weather was kind.

Work began in November 2007 and the whole of the promenade from the Porto Paphos Hotel to the harbour car park was completely closed off to traffic and pedestrians by a rind of steel barricades.

For the first couple of months most of the shops and restaurants struggled to stay open behind the barricades, but by January this became impossible, as work began on the shop fronts; so those who could, took the opportunity to refurbish their premises, with only one newsagent remaining open to date.

The development includes the removal and relocation of 'To Limanaki' to a new purpose built building closer to the harbour, and the rebuilding of the protective sea wall. The latter entailed building a temporary roadway in the sea to allow heavy machinery to move the huge stone blocks of the new breakwater.

The shop fronts will have a common appearance with verandas of glass and steel and a footpath that will not be the former obstacle course. This will have come as a shock to those traders who have recently and expensively refurbished their shop fronts, with the Athos Diamonds shop and the Seagull Restaurant coming in for particular sympathy as both have recently undertaken complete refits, which have been ripped asunder. It also means that those premises that have subtly expanded their premises under enclosed verandas, will have to find somewhere else for their stock, as those verandas have all been ripped down.

Those restaurants that have lost table space, will be allowed to rent space in the new pedestrian area being created.
Vast numbers of stone cobble stones have been imported from China to provide the new surface for the promenade area, and a team of Chinese specialists will soon arrive (if indeed they have not already done so) to lay them over a base of tarmac.

Work is scheduled to be completed by May, which means that the Carnival procession has had to be re-routed this year, and will not be ready for the start of the holiday season at Easter, which for UK visitors is at the end of March. Easter is celebrated locally at the end of April this year so there may be some faint hope that the work, which is running ahead of schedule, may be sufficiently complete to allow tourist access to the promenade for that important holiday.

The promenade redevelopment is only part of the story. Further along the coast at Kissonerga, the long awaited marina development is almost ready to go ahead, and work has already started on a coastal footpath from the airport to St Georges, with each local authority along the way responsible for its section.

Already the Chlorakas section is complete and work is well under way on the section from the harbour around the headland near the lighthouse. Work on the footpath is scheduled to be completed by 2010.

All that is now required to improve the area for tourism is to round up all those annoying time share touts and put them on the next plane out of Paphos

Copyright KG 28th February 2008

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