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29 September 2017

Strasbourg bypass surveys halted over environmental concerns

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Further delays are looming for construction of the western Strasbourg bypass, a controversial toll motorway project in north eastern France.

The government is concerned about environmental issues after Arcos, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Vinci responsible for building the bypass, said it was going to carry out field surveys in 1.5 hectares of what many consider environmentally sensitive areas.

The project, which Arcos estimates at €553 million, is likely headed for a public inquiry towards the end of the year, according to media reports, with a construction start sometime in 2018.

In late 2015, French construction group Vinci’s consortium was named preferred bidder for the project. The win for Vinci came two years after winning the same contract, but which was cancelled over a lack of secure financing.

The 24km project is officially the tolled A355 Grand Contournement Ouest, a public-private partnership deal.

World Highways reported in March 2012 that the project was expected to cost up to €756 million, compared with the original estimate of €400 million quoted during the call to tender in 2009.

Construction was to have started in 2013 for opening by early 2017 at the latest.

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