The progressive rehabilitation of the Molí Real will have to wait longer than expected. The simplified open procedure (adjudications that are carried out in one month from the tender), convened to award the contract for the execution of the works to consolidate the foundations of this heritage element, has been declared void, that is, it has not been presented no company, so now it’s up to the municipal technicians to review the file, tweak it in some aspects to, soon, put the action out to tender again.
The City Council could not close its eyes to the situation of the Molí Real, which, among other internal problems, presents, facing passers-by, a visible crack, which has led many to wonder if one day it may come crashing down if you don’t get involved.
Specifically, this property would require three actions. On the one hand, there is an urgent need to repair and consolidate the masonry wall that supports the west façade of the Molí building. Likewise, it is considered necessary to undertake an improvement and consolidation of the slopes of the hillside located on both sides of the building. And thirdly, a repair and waterproofing of the Acequia Mayor in the vicinity of the Molí must be studied.
At the moment this tender only includes the consolidation of the foundations of the Molí Real, with the repair of the masonry wall that is under the arches of the Molí in addition to sewing the visible cracks. For this, a base bidding price of 169,521 euros had been set and a duration of about three months of works.
As for the natural embankment that makes up the hillside, erosion processes have caused furrows in the ground, which are located mainly where the wall and building meet the embankment.
In addition, there are some cracks inside the building. The most important is located at an access entrance to the building from the Municipal Park.
Cracks can also be seen on the outside of the building, as well as damp spots and water infiltrations. Erosion on the slope has also created sinkholes that leave part of the façade projecting.
Also, in the area of the 12 semicircular arches there is moisture damage in the upper part and chipping in the lower part of the columns.
Along with all this, andn the masonry wall there is a significant vertical crack in the zone of change of direction of the wall. There is also damage along the main wall consisting of loss of coating, loss of joint mortar and loss of masonry. As if that were not enough, along and above the wall there are about 15 holes, currently occupied by pigeon nests that, possibly, hinder or prevent the function of water drainage.
Regarding the Acequia Mayor of the swamp, the simple visual inspection of its current state has clearly revealed to the technicians its state of deterioration, which has most likely caused breaks in its channel and water leaks. Therefore, it seems clear that the Acequia Mayor must also be repaired, at least in the area that could affect the Molino Real.
With the reinforcements and improvements planned for the wall, the aim is to reduce the deformations in the fill material of the wall and improve the stability of the whole. This enhances safety and stability against earthquakes is also achieved.
With the improvement of the structure that supports the Molí Real, a preliminary step will be taken to undertake future improvements and even a comprehensive rehabilitation, something for which there is still no date.
Artistic and cultural heritage of the 18th century
The Elche City Council is the owner of the Molí Real or Royal Mill, a construction belonging to the artistic and cultural heritage of the city, which dates back to the 18th century. It has always been considered an important architectural heritage and represents an identifying element of Elche. The so-called Acequia Mayor, which runs along the cornice on the left bank of the Vinalopó, crosses the mill. The most representative image of the mill is its west façade, which consists of buttresses and twelve semicircular arches. In 2019 the City Council evicted the Association of Fine Arts due to the state of the facilities. The building has been closed for almost three years and without activity.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.