• The operators in the area, who have come to undertake repairs to the pavement themselves, demand improvements for an area that registers a very high influx of public

A study (Eurecat! And the URL) determined three years ago that only the restaurants and leisure venues Front Marítim received 1.7 million annual visitors. That bustle, added to huge volume of bathers who flock to the coast of Barcelona has made the bottom of the promenade on the beach stretch of the Somorrostro, present a very degraded look and cry out for a makeover. The operators in the area have been crying out for a long time, who on their own have reached repair part of the parquet to prevent further falls and twists by users. But other points of the ride also clearly need improvement.

A few years ago, there were already complaints about the condition of the tiles on the walkway at the top, at street level. The city council intervened and fixed them, to prevent passers-by, apart from stumbling, from splashing themselves with the puddled water between the joints every time they stepped on a paving stone. In this area, now there is only a loose or broken piece, which the municipality is repairing. However, throughout the area you can find damaged benches and elements.

The axis of the SomorrostroOn the other hand, it has also been the victim of the struggle between administrations (State and consistory) for the future use of the premises in the area. Some were auctioned in 2020 by the Ministry of Finance with great controversy. Others continue to belong to the State, which extended its concession and consequent activity for five years. But given the uncertainties about its future and the diversity of ownership, the environment seems to be a no man’s land.

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The bottom of the ride on that stretch, which is accessed both from stairs that join the two levels, as well as from inside the establishments (with entrance from the street or from the beach level) is the one that has had the worst luck. A user, who was injured when he tripped over a broken wooden slat and fell, alerted this newspaper to the “danger” of walking along the seafront. The president of the Barceloneta Maritime Front Association, David López, confirms the lack of maintenance that essentially accumulates the section that goes from Hotel Arts to Hospital del Mar and the incidents what causes. Around the hotel there are broken tiles and some slopes that cause that after the rain the puddles remain even for days, while the bushes grow next to the walls and construction elements.

Not very functional wood

However, most of the daily complaints focus on the wooden pavement that runs through said beach and where they not only pass thousands of people throughout the year (heading to the beach, to the restaurants or to the exit of the clubs), but they also circulate electric scooters, bikes and utility vehicles. “The area is 30 years old and the wood is not functional, it does not withstand so much use,” says López. Some slats have split, leaving holes that have led to numerous falls, and many others are loose and give way when stepped on, causing stumbling, because it is not visible to the naked eye. For this reason and to avoid greater evils, different operators have come to nail or repair parts.

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An employee with more than a decade in the area regrets that the area has been “ignored” by the city in recent years. “We have experienced many problems of insecurity, theft, incivility, dirt, peddling, invasion of pedicabs … and they did not even pay attention to us”, despite the great success of the influx of businesses. In fact, the association has a security patrol service of the environment. They claim that the situation has improved since the arrival of the Security Councilor, Albert Batlle. But the question of maintenance still pending.

Replacement (or not) of the pavement

The complaints made through the municipal website have recently been answered, with the promise of a “emergency action to eliminate the risk of accidents. “It was also reported that the district (Ciutat Vella) was studying” the total replacement of the pavement. “The Environment department reported that only specific repairs were currently planned.

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The panorama improves in the section (also lower) that corresponds to the Barceloneta beach, where officials of some locals affirm that in summer the maintenance bridle of the Beaches (of the Environment Area) do carry out regular interventions. There the floor is already tiled, much more resistant. But it is also true abandonment on the street furniture, there are graffiti, and a trace of nocturnal urine. Along with some disused premises, some people have even settled in tents for the night.

The walkways damaged by the recent storms are a separate chapter, since in this case repairs are usually made in spring after the months of bad weather and waves, municipal sources point out.


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