The most expensive road in the world is on Reunion Island
Since 2013, the project of the new coastal road is launched on the Reunion Island. A colossal project with titanic technical constraints making this most expensive road in the world. The construction site of the New Coastal Route connecting the administrative center St Denis to the Possession had already been valued at 1.6 billion euros for 12.5 km. That is 133 million euros per kilometer!
However the reality is different the final price with the various extensions could reach 2.5 billion euros or 200 million euros per km. Which would make it the most expensive road in the world! What is its purpose and how is the work progressing? Let us return to the course of this artery strewn with obstacles.
Protection for road users in the north of Réunion
The current road that connects Saint-Denis to La Possession is used by around 70,000 male and female drivers every day. Cyclones and heavy rains, which regularly affect the island, cause landslides on the road having already claimed twenty victims. The collapse of several thousand cubic meters of rock in 1980, costing the lives of 3 people, raised the first questions about the need for a new road.
However, build a viaduct and an dike is no small feat. Succeeding in this technical challenge while preserving biodiversity as much as possible has required discussions for decades and legal inquiries have been opened, some of which are still ongoing.
Legal action slows down construction of the world's most expensive road
The new coastal road which was to be completed in 2020 is accumulating delays following open investigations contesting the call for tenders for the viaduct awarded to Vinci-Bouygues. While two of them were rejected, another filed in 2015 is still pending to this day.
The desire to protect nature also played an important role in the postponement of the work on the dike side. The latter claimed 7 million tonnes of rock which were to be taken from the Bois-Blanc quarry in Saint-Leu, an action denounced by numerous associations protecting the environment. The location of the dike itself was also questioned, since it crossed the wood of Paille-en-queue, a protected area for its vegetation.
Where is the construction of the new coastal road?
If the work has resumed its course for several months, the lack of massive rocks for the dike and the health crisis remain a brake on the delivery of the project. Fortunately, the completion of the work is taking shape for the viaduct, Vinci announced on Thursday March 11, 2021 the delivery of the barge that will link Saint-Denis to the Grande Chaloupe. The opening of the viaduct is scheduled for the end of the year.
To learn more about the most expensive road in the world, visit the site new coastal route