Reunion Island NRL viaduct: Now that’s a road trip!

“The new NRL 974 – the Didier Robert Highway as it is referred to across the island – is a secure road far from the danger of falling stones … nearly 1500 jobs … innovations … ingenuity … perseverance and respect to preserve the environment of the island,” says remarks from social media about this massive Reunion Island project.

The work of the “Nouvelle Route du Littoral” (the new coastal road) is nearing its end on the north side. Motorists traveling along the coastal road watch every day the progress of the work of laying the big posts in the sea.

This Friday marks the last hours of mobilization of the huge machine “Zourite,” used for two years for the installation of the big posts at the bottom of the sea and the first parts of deck assembled in stages. Since the start of work at sea, the machine has reached the construction work at the rate of two of these big posts per month. The total height of these posts varies from 24 to 38 meters on the entire route at sea. The bases of the posts are between 12 and 15 meters below sea level, or between 3 and 8 m below the ocean floor.

48 posts in total

The route stretch of the deck, whose weight of the elements can go up to 670 tons and are conveyed by the “launcher” to be assembled. As for the route on supports, they are much heavier, they weigh up to 2400 tons and are routed and set up on site by Zourite. The height of the segments to be transported varies from 3.80 to 7.30 meters.

Zourite thus completes in this month of March 2019 the installation of the very last of the posts of the viaduct which includes 48 between the Large boat and the advancement at sea in Saint-Denis.

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A progress report is made at this very moment on site by a delegation of the regional authority. Taking stock of the progress of the work, the President of the Region was also asked about the prospects for the other achievements that will follow the work of the NRL, starting with the guided regional transport network. “The first phase of 12 km will involve Saint-Denis and Sainte-Marie, plus 2 phases: a first towards Saint-Benoît, and the second towards the west since you know that the New Coastal Road provides for to be able to host a regional guided transport network,” said Didier Robert.

NEO after the NRL

As for the total delivery of the NRL, the president of the Region spoke about the schedule adopted to date. “We are on a 2022 perspective for the overall delivery of the project,” he said, also answering the question of the possibility of a partial delivery. “It’s part of the elements of reflection but it does not integrate today the approach of our community because it is a global work of 12 km, so the goal is to deliver this project on its entirety.”

The subject of NEO Saint-Denis was also mentioned. “For the past two or three years, we have been choosing to co-manage with the City of Saint-Denis for the Nouvelle Entrée Ouest, and we are working together to ensure that there is extension and that Saint-Denis can benefit from the regional commitment with a level of traffic that is more acceptable. It will be finalized in a first time the new bridge of the Saint-Denis River in 2020-2021, so at the same time as the finalization of the viaduct “which prefigures the” new face of Barachois “in a second time,” said the president of Reunion.

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