It is a small pebble on the pavement, which could well prove embarrassing for the Elizabeth Terminal, the minister of transport. The one that is best known for his career as a high official and his previous role as patron saint of the RATP is potentially affected by a situation akin to a conflict of interest relating to its passage, there is a ten years, in Eiffage, the giant of the building and public works.
The bitumen in question is the one of the route Centre Europe Atlantique (RCEA), an axis crossing France from west to east in the middle. The track is nicknamed “the road of death” in its portion crossing the Allier, and Saône-et-Loire. In this area, the N79 has this qualifier to the terrifying ballet of trucks that crossed it. The number of accidents is very high, the shock front more frequently than the average and particularly dramatic.
The State has made of the safety of this stretch a priority. The public authority has decided to take its implementation in two times two lanes in the part of the Saône-et-Loire. As to the part Combine, it will be transformed to the highway granted to toll on 92 kilometres, to the horizon 2022. A call for tenders was launched, the folder set in consultation this spring, and five consortia have declared themselves candidates. The final decision of award of the contract should take place in the coming weeks.
“The minister should resign,” said one industry expert
The one who will have the last word for the attribution of the concession of the future A79 is, of course, the minister of transport. However, a line from his official CV recalls Elizabeth’s Terminal has been the director of concessions Eiffage group in 2007 and 2008. And Eiffage is part of the candidates. “It is in the definition of conflict of interest, considers a specialist of the sector. In such a case, the minister should resign. Or so…