Transmontana motorway opens for traffic between Vila Real and Bragança
The CAET XXI business partnership, of which Ramalho Rosa Cobetar (RRC) and its shareholder FCC Construcción are members, has completed the works for the Transmontana motorway between the Portuguese cities of Vila Real and Bragança, which is now fully open for traffic.
This road, which links north-west and north-east Portugal as part of the Trans-European Transport Network, replaces the IP4, now making it possible to link the A4 motorway, which begins in Matosinhos (Porto), with the Spanish border and the rest of Europe.
Owning to the stoppage of the Marão tunnel concession, it was necessary to plan an additional link (Parada de Cunhos) to divert traffic on the Transmontana motorway from the Corgo viaduct to the IP4.
In 2008, EP (Estradas de Portugal) awarded to the consortium Autoestradas XXI, made up of Globalvía Infraestructuras, and FCC and Bankia with equal shares, together with the Portuguese firm Soares da Costa, the sub-concession for the motorway for a period of 30 years. The project was built by the CAET XXI partnership between FCC Construcción, RRC and Soares da Costa.
The Transmontana motorway is project for the design, build and maintenance of a new motorway totalling 194 km in length, including 32 km of newly built road, 106 km of extension and 56 km of rehabilitation and improvement of the current IP4. It also includes the rehabilitation of the Serra do Marão crossing, an area with steep slopes and a complicated route, which these works have smoothed out considerably, thereby improving the current accident rate. For the construction works two asphalt-mix plants were installed to manufacture more than one million tonnes of macadam.
Seventeen special viaducts were built, including Corgo viaduct, which is 2,780 m long with a deck height of 230 m above the river, making it the second highest in Europe. This cable-tied bridge is located to the south of Vila Real. More than 2,500 people have worked on this motorway, almost 80% of whom were recruited locally.
The project took into account the environmental requirements during all stages of the works: design, build and operation. The environmental-impact study was prepared and during construction all the necessary and appropriate measures were implemented to assure protection of the surroundings and the future landscape integration of the new road. Throughways were built for wildlife and livestock and special measures were adopted to protect endangered species, such as the Iberian wolf.
The new motorway is part of a programme of seven motorway concessions launched by the Portuguese government in 2008, with a total length of 1,500 km and an investment of €3 billion.
The Transmontana motorway will communicate all of northern Portugal, reducing journey times by nearly 40%, while at the same time improving safety for uses. Accident rates are expected to drop significantly.
Ramalho Rosa Cobetar (RRC) is a benchmark firm in Portugal, with a team of nearly 200 professionals. It has earned the respect of clients, suppliers and competitors because of its commitment to building major projects in diverse areas of business.
At present, RRC and FCC are also working together to build Ribeiradio and Ermida dams in Sever do Vouga.