DEME completes “Nouvelle Route du Littoral” in La Réunion

DEME played a significant role in the construction of the “Nouvelle Route du Littoral” viaduct, in La Réunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean. This 5,400 m viaduct partially opened this week.

The viaduct was built to replace the cliffside section of the National 1 road between Saint-Denis and La Possession, which is often subject to flooding during tropical storms, as well as rockfalls. Indeed, 20 individuals have lost their lives on that road over the last 30 years. Given that approximately 60 thousand vehicles use this road each day, a significant investment was secured to make it safe.

Initially estimated at 1.6 billion euros, the cost of building this viaduct has been re-evaluated by the most optimistic to 2 billion euros. The road has been named the “most expensive road in the world” although the Entebbe-Kampala highway in Uganda is also a contender for the title.

Measuring twenty-nine metres in width, and supported by 48 pillars, the “Nouvelle Route du Littoral” is a technological feat by Vinci and Bouygues. The dredging, gravel bed installation by the backhoe dredger ‘Pinocchio’, and backfilling works for the 48 gravity-based foundations, were executed by DEME, whilst adhering to stringent environmental restrictions.

Author: Emma Dailey

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