The New Coastal Route was under debate at the plenary assembly of the R

This Wednesday, October 27, the New Coastal Route was at the heart of the plenary assembly of the Réunion Region. A debate which was live from 9 am to 1 pm, on Réunion La 1ère radio, TV, and internet.

During her election, the new president of the Réunion Region, Huguette Bello, had promised “transparency” on the NRL. The New Coastal Route was at the heart of a debate at the plenary assembly of the Réunion Region, this Wednesday, October 27.

Live from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You were able to follow this debate live on Réunion La 1ère from 9am to 1pm. Jean-Marc Collienne and Gaël Le Dantec were at the inverted pyramid to make you experience this session in its entirety. The debate is now available for replay in this article.

Find the replay here:

Highlights of the debate

2 p.m. Conclusion of the debate.

The President of the Region, Huguette Bello, concluded the debate by welcoming “a real constructive spirit”. “We are aware of the importance of the decisions that we have to make. (…) The file presented shows that there is no solution which is obvious”. The connection problem must be dealt with before the end of the work.

Expert appraisals will be carried out on each of the options considered for the rest of the work.

Deliberations have been voted on. They will make it possible to:

  • “defend on behalf of the Region in all proceedings initiated or to come, in summary proceedings as well as on the merits, in administrative or civil instances, both in first instance and in appeal or in cassation, due to disputes relating to all markets of the NRL and to all legal acts issued for the realization of the NRL.
  • To initiate any summary or substantive procedure, administrative or civil, useful for the preservation of the interests of the Region within the framework of the completion of the NRL, to lodge an appeal or to appeal in cassation.
  • Continue the mediation procedure initiated by the MT5.1 contract holder with a view to full or partial settlement of disputes
  • Resume the conciliation procedure initiated with the MT3 contract holder, with a view to full or partial settlement of disputes
  • Adapt the modalities agreed for the conduct of these processes in compliance with the applicable principles in this area. The agreements resulting from these processes can only be validated after having been submitted to the competent bodies of the Regional Council.
  • To initiate these same processes concerning the other markets of the NRL. The processes initiated must respect the same principles and limits “.

11:45 am: Opening of the debate between the regional elected representatives.

Opposition regional councilor Michel Vergoz gets angry and raises his voice in the Assembly. He defends the record of the outgoing president, Didier Robert. He returns to the history of the tram-train and denounces “a falsification of History”.

For Jean-Hugues Ratenon, “it is not just the Reunionese who have to put their hands in their pockets”.

The regional councilor of the majority, Christian Annette, denounces “the absence of a firm reaction on the part of the Region, the project manager, in the face of the group”. (…) “I am amazed by the casualness of the group, Vinci and Bouygues, two world leaders with undeniable know-how”. “I denounce the lack of involvement of the project manager, the Region, (…), this is a work which must ensure the safety of all users”.

Following Wilfrid Bertil’s intervention, Michel Vergoz loses his temper and deplores “untruths”. “I expected from the Assembly that on such enormous untruths, we could stop Mr. Bertile, but you did not have the energy and I am sorry madam”, vigorously launched Michel Vergoz to Huguette Bello.

Elected by the majority, Wilfrid Bertil, greets the NRL “an exceptional technical feat”. But according to him, “the medal has its flip side by its extraordinary cost”. “This ruinous project has experienced repeated delays, especially through the fault of men. (…) To be in denial of reality was the hallmark of the old majority. (…) Even unwanted the child is there and we have to take care of it “.

Jean-Jacques Morel, regional opposition adviser, takes the floor and tries to defend the NRL site in the absence of the outgoing president, Didier Robert. He denounces “untruths” and ensure that “the work has never been interrupted”. According to him, “the dike is needed, there is only that”. It ensures that delays are linked to “legal remedies” and “the additional costs are not surprising”. Regarding careers, he believes that we are “the only country in the world that cannot take stones from us”.

11:10 am. In a film, presentation of the options that exist to complete the route.

Four different options exist. The first option is that of a dike road as planned. This is the cheapest option, around 375 million euros, but the issue of rock supply is not resolved. Option 2 solves part of the problem by using concrete caissons, it costs more: 500 million euros. Option 3 is almost ruled out, also based on concrete boxes, costs much more. There remains the viaduct option, the financial estimate of which is uncertain but could be around 500 million. It would have the advantage of a lower environmental impact and therefore a lower risk of recourse. In any case, the total cost would exceed two billion and the commissioning would not take place for six or seven years.

Find out more about the different options below:

Explanatory video NRL

10:10 am. Statement by Nicolas Morbé.

Nicolas Morbé, Deputy Director General in charge of roads and transport at the Region, takes the floor to review the entire site. It details the reasons for the technical options chosen at the start of the NRL project. It takes stock of the various contracts awarded, but also of current disputes with the groups in charge of the contracts.

Company claims amount to almost a billion euros. “Very substantial amounts”, according to Nicolas Morbé, who evokes a “sword of Damocles“above the head of the Region.

9.40 a.m. Statement by the prefect, Jacques Billant.

“The project selected for the NRL is indeed the result of a decision by the Region”, reminds the Prefect who then returns to the signed protocol and the State’s commitment to this project. “797 million euros have already been injected and paid to the Regional Council as part of this project”.

“The State reaffirms its support for carrying out this essential project for mobility in Reunion Island. The State has supported the regional council, owner of the NRL, from the start, by providing substantial financial assistance”.

“The State wishes the completion of this exceptional project awaited by all Reunionese in the best conditions of time and cost, and of the environment. The credibility of public power and the safety of Reunionese depend on it.”

Find here the entire declaration of the prefect:

Intervention Jacques Billant: The New Coastal Route under debate at the plenary assembly of the Region

9:20 a.m. Statement by the President of the Region, Huguette Bello.

“Taking into account the many faults on the acropods observed on our arrival, the replacement of these acropods has a direct impact on the safe opening of this section of the road. An opening now envisaged in the first half of 2022, without any new risks”.

“The truth is that the work of the dike between the Possession and the Grande Chaloupe is at a standstill. No market has been relaunched. No solution has been implemented for the delivery of the 2023 road. The previous one The majority could not ignore the incompressible work schedule of six to seven years to secure a solution and build the dike. The commitment made to open the road at the end of 2021 was not realistic. The final invoice from the NRL should not only be borne by the regional budget. The bill will exceed two billion euros for this project alone. The Matignon agreements will have to be renegotiated “.

“We must finish this road but not at any cost. We have to surround our decisions with the best possible conditions for the effective implementation of the works. Our accumulated difficulties today are the fruit of decisions we inherit. . The objective is transparency. We have a duty to speak a language of truth, it is the respect that we owe to the people of Reunion. We are counting on a responsible and educational debate so as not to make any more mistakes of the past ” .

“We are going to continue discussions with the groups to try to find the best outcome for this project. We are determined to find the terms of a new partnership contract with the State, whose support is essential to complete this project. Thank you. the Prefect for his presence today. It marks the State’s commitment to help the Region complete this project. We will review all the points in this dossier, which will allow us to clarify our choices and make the decisions “.

“The most expensive road in the world is unusable because it is unfinished. This site in the middle of the ocean is observed by motorists in traffic jams from the coastal road, wondering about its opening. The time has come to say. the truth about the state of the site and the solutions to be implemented to finish the last section to allow delivery of the entire road that is secure. Safety is at the heart of the objectives of this achievement “.

Find here the full statement of Huguette Bello:

Intervention by Huguette Bello: The New Coastal Route under debate at the plenary assembly of the Region

9:15 am. Opening of the session. The President of the Region, Huguette Bello is alongside the First Vice-President, Patrick Lebreton, and the Prefect of Reunion, Jacques Billant.

Why this transparency operation?

The New Coastal Route was to be delivered in 2019 or 2020 and it will eventually probably be 2027 or 2028. It was to cost one billion 600 million and will probably cost twice as much.

How to finish this site? Who will pay for the budget overruns? Where are the disputes with companies? When will motorists finally be able to drive on the part already inaugurated? The President of the Region, Huguette Bello, convened the regional advisers, this Wednesday, October 27, to discuss the current situation and the different scenarios to complete this road. The former President of the Region, Didier Robert, is not present.

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