A project intended to relieve traffic on the western approach to the Principality has come up against fierce opposition from Cap d’Ail, but work is pressing ahead.
The traffic situation getting in and out of Monaco during rush hours is dire. The back-ups add considerable driving time for commuters, not to mention increasing C02 emissions, spurring authorities to take action.
Plans for a €30 million underground “funnel” on the Moyenne Corniche to relieve congestion in the worst hours as well as another smaller project widening the Hospital/Jardin Exotique roundabout are well underway, but have come up against some hurdles.
CAP D’AIL CONCERNS
The problem is that, with any major construction, there comes issues and Cap d’Ail Mayor Xavier Beck is up in arms about the disruptions that will be caused to his town.
Mayor Beck filed formal complaints in October 2022, citing the inevitable inconveniences as his main concern, including the loss of 30 parking spaces, as well as the cost to the town – in the region of €30,000 according to the mayor.
“These are traffic disruptions that will be considerable for a year and a half,” he told the Monaco Matin. “The Metropolis also advised us [at the start] to say no to this project. I have a letter on this subject from the Director of the Roads of the Metropolis.”
According to him, the concerns regarding the project should have triggered a bureaucratic response, one which Mayor Beck says was not respected.
“We have a charter of the Metropolis, which deals with the management of disagreements and which expressly provides, when a municipality does not agree with a project, that there is an in-depth discussion or even a calling of the municipal council to issue an opinion,” he said. “However, this whole procedure was not followed by the Metropolis.”
Though unhappy, Beck has said he would withdrawal appeals “if the problems that these two projects will cause us are taken into account”.
MONACO NEUTRAL BUT INVOLVED
The mayor also said he had met with Monegasque Minister of State Pierre Dartout, sharing a list of suggestions that were well-received and which he expects will be responded to promptly.
In general, Monaco’s government has been able, by-and-large, to remain out of the fray here, letting French procedure take the lead on the fight, but Bastien Nespoulous, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi’s Chief of Staff, had made it clear he sees this project as a real joint international effort. As Monaco is financing 80% of the project, the case is strong that the Principality is indeed quite committed to its success.
“The Metropolis considers that this partnership with the Principality of Monaco, in particular for the construction of this funnel near the Rainier III tunnel, has a safety dimension,” Nespoulous told Monaco Matin.
He added that the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has asked the Monegasque government to bring the Rainier III tunnel up to standard – in line with Mont Blanc standards.
“The Minister of State said that upgrading only makes sense… And it will be done [in the case of the project coming to fruition],” he told the publication.
Photo source: Musa Haef for Unsplash