(Please see UPDATES at end)
***STOP PRESS*** Motorway extension opened on 30 March 2007! - see 3rd and 4th UPDATES at end.
The Auto-Pista del Mediterraneo (AP-7) extension from Cartagena to Vera should have opened by the end of December 2006, but was apparently delayed because of what were said to be minor technical difficulties; however it now appears (if I have understood this article correctly - see the final section) that it relates to a dispute between the Mayor of Mazarron, who says there are safety fears, and an official in Aguilas (not far from the termination of the new extension at Vera) who says there are no remaining problems and that it relates to political disputes involving the Socialist Party (ie. the governing Party).
The AP-7 (toll) and the A-7 (toll-free) sections of this motorway, alternating and parallel in some areas, runs from near the French border along a large part of the Meditteranean coast of Spain; the new toll section of about 114 kilometres will provide an alternative to the toll-free route which runs further north and inland. When another motorway from Mazarron to Totana is completed (possibly by late 2007 or early 2008) this will provide much better and speedier road connections from where my holiday home is located near Mazarron and the motorway network north to France and south to Andalucia, not to mention a much better route to the airport at San Javier (MJV).
I have no idea of what the real position is; I just hope they get this new section of motorway opened as soon as possible as it will make travelling to Cartagena and to San Javier (for the airport) much more convenient, speedy and less circuitous.
UPDATE: (Sunday 11FEB07 19.28 RST) An article dated 31st January, which I have just found today, seems to indicate that the delay in opening the new section of motorway may be indeterminate, as it will depend on inspections to be carried out on various tunnelled parts of the new road where there have been safety concerns before the 'green light' can be given for its opening.
2nd UPDATE: (Wednesday 14FEB07 00.50 RST) An email correspondent, who had found this post, writes and provides a link to another possibly useful source of information, namely an extract from the Official Bulletin of Murcia Province (the link is to a .PDF file), which appears to indicate that important meetings will take place on 20 and 21 February in the City Halls of Cuevas del Almanzora and Cartagena respectively; presumably the insepctions referred to in my previous update above will have been carried out by then.
3rd UPDATE: (Friday 30MAR07 18.47 RST) The Cartagena-Vera extension of the AP-7 seems to have opened today; I will try it out myself tomorrow to confirm and will report my findings here. See my later post on 30MAR07 here.
4th UPDATE: (Sunday 01APR 07 00.01 RST) I travelled on the Mazarron to Cartagena section in both directions on 31MAR07 - read my report about the journey here.