in Reunion, the horrors of the coastal road

A 2.5-kilometer hole between two dikes, a technical and financial blank sheet to build this missing portion of the road, disputes at nearly one billion euros with two groups of companies, hidden defects, delays in cascade… The new majority at the head of the regional council of Reunion discovered, since July 2, the horrors of the construction of the new coastal road (NRL).

Begun in 2014, the works of this 12.5 km axis in two three-way tracks to link Saint-Denis to La Possession, on a part in a viaduct over the ocean and another in a dike, should have been delivered. in 2020. While more than two-thirds have been completed, the project is almost at a standstill.

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To carry out a technical and financial inventory of the site, the Réunion region has scheduled an extraordinary plenary session this Wednesday, October 27. “Special NRL”. “We want to speak a language of truth and responsibility, warns Huguette Bello, president (various left) of the community. The population and elected officials must be informed of the reality of this issue, of the possible perspectives. How many times do I hear people say to me: Mi saw it rolled over, minus [“Je veux rouler dessus, moi”]. »

New vital axis

According to the latest projections, full completion is not an option until 2027-2028. And the cost, initially planned at 1.6 billion euros, will happily exceed 2.2 billion. “This site is like the ocean around Reunion, unleashed”, breath Mme Bello who, during the regional campaign against his predecessor, Didier Robert (various right), never ceased to castigate “A road that leads nowhere” and the “All-car choice”.

Elected officials will debate the possible solutions to build the remaining 2.5 km of road, which initially had to pass over a sea dike far enough from the cliff

The new president of the region has, however, pledged to complete this new axis, which is vital for the local economy, with an average of more than 66,000 users per day. The NRL, also called “Most expensive road in the world”, must replace the current national running under a cliff. An artery judged in ” end of life “, regularly congested, threatened by rising sea levels and massive landslides. Twenty-one people have died there since 1976 after falling boulders.

This Wednesday, elected officials will debate the possible solutions to build the remaining 2.5 km of road, which initially had to pass over a sea dike far enough from the cliff. This scenario now seems impossible to implement. In September 2019, the Vinci-Bouygues consortium and their local subsidiaries (GTOI and SBTPC) requested the termination of this contract of 298 million euros excluding taxes due to the lack of massive rocks on the island – it would take 3 million. tonnes – used to consolidate the work, and the impossibility of operating a quarry located in Saint-Leu.

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