The Limia River Ecovia, which links the municipalities of Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima – Arcos de Valdevez, on the right bank of the Limia River, and the municipalities of Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima – Ponte da Barca, on the left bank, was designed with pedestrians and cyclists in mind, although, with rare exceptions, it can be crossed perfectly well on horseback.
With levels of use that justify the investment made, the Ecovia, in Ponte de Lima, is divided into four sections, with a total length of 34 km, inserted in the Lima River Site of Community Importance (Natura 2000 Network): i) Lagoas, ii) Laranja, iii) Veigas, and iv) Açudes.
This infrastructure is an excellent means of promoting physical exercise and raising awareness of the landscape and natural values associated with the water resource, as well as the human activities of the primary sector, the various elements of historical and cultural heritage, such as mills, dams and bridges. The historic centre of Ponte de Lima, the oldest city in Portugal, is at the epicentre of the eco-routes.
In this context, due to the degradation evidenced by the ecovia platform, it is important to carry out an intervention that restores the necessary conditions for the full enjoyment of these facilities, thus allowing them to fulfil the purpose for which they were built.
Taking advantage of the opportunity created by the “Fronteira Esquecida Limia-Lima” Project, the Municipality of Ponte de Lima started, at the end of last year, the action related to the conservation of the ecovia platforms in the previously selected extensions. Thus, of a total of 7125 m planned, 850 m have already been completed, where the platform has been regularised by filling and leveling with “toutvenant”.
The completion of all this work and the start and completion of the improvement work on a total length of 1004m (work that will consist of removing the existing material on the platform and the subsequent filling of the resulting caisson, after applying a geotextile blanket, with a concrete strip in the centre (0.80m) with Portuguese paving on both sides, with a maximum width of 1.10m, which will also include containment guides), is scheduled for this year.