Infrastructure and cosmetic works on a large roundabout in Paphos are critical for the first impression the town makes on visitors and are one of the local authority’s ‘priority’ projects, Paphos Municipality argues.
The Town Hall made its defence following public dismay at plans for a two-phase project earmarked for the roundabout at the start of the Paphos to Limassol highway. Phase one will focus on preparing the sunk roundabout for the second phase which will see landscaping and the construction of an elaborate water feature that illustrates the town’s’ history.
The project is expected to cost €1.2 million but, according to online forums, some Paphos residents believe the money would be better spent on infrastructure works and have questioned the high figures for the project.
“We believe the works are important for the image of the town,” a Paphos Municipality spokesman told The Cyprus Weekly. “We consider it to be a priority project.”
The project is being undertaken jointly by two architectural firms Chrysanthou & Papachristou who won the award for the project following a pan-Cyprian design competition.
The first company, Chrysanthos E. Chrysanthou & Associates, is directing the central Paphos revamp, most of which is projected to be completed in time for 2017, the year the town will hold the European Cultural Capital title with Aarhus in Denmark.
The roundabout works are not part of the Paphos 2017 building programme which is taking place in and around the town centre.
Paphos Municipality said it could not provide a specific timeframe for the roundabout project as it is in the process of securing government funding before putting the first phase out to tender. However, it said it hoped to take this step in September with Chrysanthos Chrysanthou, of the namesake architectural company, explaining that it was likely works could be started this year.
“We have to make the site ready for the water feature works. The roundabout has sunk its centre and connects to a river bed. We need to fill this in and build infrastructure for channelling rainwater to the sea,” he told The Cyprus Weekly. “This will cost €500,000.”
Chrysanthou said that it was possible that the second phase would start in 2017, but plans were not definite until funding was secured.
“The second phase will involve the construction of a pond and a water feature with elements that illustrate the Paphos mosaics in the harbour,” he explained.
This phase will cost about €700,000 partly because of the engineering complexities involved in the building owing to the depth of the roundabout and the need to make the water feature stable, Chrysanthou explained.
“When it is completed, it is going to be very impressive,” he said.
Meanwhile, works focusing on Kennedy Square and the town’s traditional retail centre started earlier this year and are still under way with sections set to be completed in a staggered manner from early 2017.
In addition to a revamp of the town’s commercial centre, works will also feature a new municipal, 200-space car park located behind the old police station to service the upgraded area. The works have been divided into four phases covering Kennedy Square, Makarios Avenue, Evagora Pallikarides and auxiliary streets in between these main roads.
The regeneration of Kennedy Square and surrounding areas is part of a raft of projects announced by President Nicos Anastasiades in June last year, amounting to €60m of investment.
Paphos Municipality had planned to put to public vote a name for what is currently Kennedy Square which was scheduled to take place in June. This has been postponed, but the spokesman told The Cyprus Weekly the vote would still be going ahead at an appropriate time.