The Basque Government tenders the project for the pedestrian and cycling routes of Pierre Loti for the connection Hondarribia-Irun-Hendaye for €3.7 million and a completion period of 12 months


The project is part of the “Master Plan for the restoration and improvement of connectivity of natural spaces in the surroundings of the Txingudi Bay”.

Without forgetting the environmental perspective at any moment, it will allow a cross-border connection that will link both sides of the Bidasoa River.

The wooden platform under the international bridges will be supported by micropiles driven into the riverbed.

The length of the pedestrian and cycling path is 1.2 km, with an average width of 3.5 meters and a profile with practically zero slopes.

The Department of Economic Development, Sustainability, and the Environment of the Basque Government has tendered the construction project for pedestrian and cycling routes of Pierre Loti in Irún. This project includes the construction of the platform under the international bridges, as well as the restoration and environmental improvement of the parking lot and access to the Plaiaundi Ecological Park. The economic amount for the project is €3,737,967.96, divided into two lots, with a execution period of 12 months.

This project is part of the "Master Plan for the restoration and improvement of connectivity of natural spaces in the surroundings of the Txingudi Bay". While keeping the environmental perspective in mind, it reflects the interinstitutional agreement to promote urban and cycling connectivity between Hendaia, Irún, and Hondarribia in the estuary area. It is indeed a cross-border connection that would successfully link both sides of the Bidasoa River.

As a proposal for a local estuary-edge connection, the Master Plan suggests a new pedestrian and cycling route through Pierre Loti, within the municipality of Irún. This route includes two underpasses under the railway tracks in the vicinity of the bridges connecting with Hendaia.

Detailed description of the works

Batch 1: The construction of pedestrian and cycling routes of Pierre Loti in Irún includes the installation of a platform under the international bridges.

A) Pedestrian and cycling route starting from the Amute roundabout to Iparralde Hiribidea, divided into two phases:

B) In the phase of the Pierre Loti path to the access point of the ADIF railway platform, the construction works will be minimal. The path will be supported by the existing asphalt road, with its width increased by utilizing the existing shoulders, and a new fencing will be installed.

C) In the second phase, from the access point of the ADIF railway platform to Iparralde Hiribidea, the pedestrian and cycling route will be constructed along the riverbank of the bay, following its contours until connecting with the existing cycle path upstream of the Santiago Bridge. To enable crossing the international bridges, a wooden platform supported by micropiles driven into the riverbed is planned for construction.

D) A new parking area will be constructed to enhance the facilities and meet the needs of users of the ecological park, as well as those of the Plaiaundi Institute.

The total length of the pedestrian and cycling path is 1.2 km, with an average width of 3.5 meters. The path has a nearly flat profile, with very minimal slopes, until reaching PK 0+760. 

At that point, the platform is defined, and its initial section, approximately 78 meters long, has a slope of -6% to pass under the ADIF bridge.  From that point until crossing the Santiago Bridge, the platform follows with gentle slopes ranging between -0.8% and 0.6%. From PK 1+052 until its completion at PK 1+119, the platform maintains a constant slope of 3.19% until reaching the existing urbanization level.

Currently, in front of the Ekoetxea building, there is an open area where some old municipal facilities used to be located. This area is currently being used as a temporary parking lot. This area will be reorganized by creating a 6-meter-wide road with 32 parallel parking spaces on the left side, including one designated for people with disabilities. 

On the right side, closer to Pierri Loti street, eight parking spaces for motorcycles and three inline parking spaces for buses will be designated. At the far end, a roundabout will be constructed to facilitate turning and provide a connection to the existing parking area of the Ekoetxea. The parking area will feature a landscaped zone with perimeter sidewalks. A bicycle parking rack will be installed next to the entrance to the parking area from the GI-636 road.

Batch 2: As part of the project, there will be an environmental improvement of the parking area and access points to the Plaiaundi Ecological Park.

The project involves replacing a portion of the current asphalt pavement with vegetated permeable pavement, separating pedestrian circulation and draining and filtering pavement water through a rain garden with native plants. Furthermore, the project includes improving signage and addressing pedestrian interferences by creating a dedicated pedestrian pathway throughout the parking area.  The project highlights the incorporation of native vegetation, improving the shrub and herbaceous composition, as well as the current vegetation condition. It also includes the implementation of a sustainable urban drainage system that naturalizes the water cycle, increasing soil permeability and promoting infiltration into the park's soil.

Txingudi Bay

The surroundings of the Txingudi Bay, which include the areas of Jaizubia in Hondarribia, Plaiaundi, Bidasoa Islands, and the banks of the Bidasoa River in Irún, have been declared a Special Conservation Zone (ZEC) and a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA) within the European Natura 2000 network. It is also recognized as an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. Due to all these factors, we find ourselves in an environment of high environmental quality, characterized by its natural habitats and the diverse flora and fauna species present within them.

This project is carried out outside the limits of the Zec ES2120018 ‐ TXINGUDI‐BIDASOA, but within its peripheral protection zone. No impacts are expected on the species and habitats that led to the designation of this area.

Furthermore, during the diagnosis and analysis of urgent priorities for the restoration and connectivity of the Txingudi marshes, some pending challenges were identified. It was recognized that there is a need to redefine the vision for the recovery of the space and estuarine ecosystems of the entire area included in the Natura 2000 network. To address this, the Basque Government promoted the creation of a coordinating document for various projects and actions aimed at the recovery and improvement of the connectivity of the Txingudi ecosystems, known as the "Txingudi Master Plan 2015-2026."

With the aim of addressing a long-standing demand from the local community in the cross-border area, this plan proposed the pedestrian and cycling connectivity of the Bidasoa riverbanks, overcoming barriers such as railways and roads. It sought to create pathways that connect beaches and facilitate the necessary cross-border connections, meeting the needs of both locals and visitors.

The project as a whole will not only bring significant environmental benefits but will also contribute to improving accessibility, promoting sustainable mobility, and therefore mitigating climate change.

This project also receives funding from the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan, which is a key instrument for the development of the European recovery funds under the Next Generation EU program.