The Presidents of Asturias and Galicia, Vicente Álvarez Areces and Emilio Pérez Touriño, respectively, inaugurated today the 4.6Km stretch of the Cantabrian A-8 Motorway between Barres and Ribadeo, which included the widening of the 600m bridge which crosses both communities.
The investment on this stretch was more than €48 million, including land reclamation, which works out at more than €9 million per constructed kilometer.
The innovative techniques employed have allowed to take advantage of the Los Santos Bridge structure which connected Asturias and Galicia for the first time along their coast and have made it unnecessary the construction of a second viaduct over the river.
This has been one of the most highlighted aspects from the political representatives from both autonomous communities during the inauguration of the stretch, given that the widening of the bridge to four lanes has been done with a minimum environmental impact.
The construction of the bridges which started back in January last year, accounted for 65% of the budget on this stretch, and has been fulfilled without the need to paralyze rolling traffic at any moment and with the contracting of alpinists to carry out some of the Works.
The original bridge measured 600m in length and 12.0m wide and has been widened to 24.60m to accommodate four lanes and two sidewalks.
Several Spanish engineering companies have designed “totally innovative techniques at a worldwide level” to widen the Santos Bridge and have obtained “an evident environmental improvement for the river”, a fact underlined by the Governmental Representative for Asturias, Antonio Trevín, during the inauguration.
Trevín stressed that this will suppose for the companies which have been involved in the design and development of this bridge; Dragados, Apia XXI and Ginprosa, an “important guarantee” to be awarded similar projects worldwide.
The Barres-Ribadeo stretch entered into service at 12:00 on the same day the Works finalized because, according to Trevín, priority was given to “safety and rigor” towards the inaugurations and for that reason, they did not wait for the Minister of Public Works, Magdalena Álvarez, to be able to attend this event.
Trevín underlined that in 50 months, The Ministry of Public Works has opened 70 of the 107Km which make up the western sector of the Cantabrian Motorway as it crosses through Asturias, which means that 65.4% has thus been completed.
Two further stretches shall be begun in the coming year; Muros-Dueñas and Dueñas- Oviñana, which will take the figure of completed motorway up to 80%.
In his opinion, the bet by the President of the Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, for the northeast of the country is evident and has been made clear in the General Budget for 2009, in which a €100 million investment has been destined for the pending stretches in Asturias.
In the same way, the representative for the Government of Galicia, Manuel Amejeiras, has spoken in stating that the €86 million budgeted for the stretches on this motorway in his autonomous community will allow the completion of the 85Km stretch.
The event was attended amongst others by the President of the General Committee of the Principality of Asturias, María Jesús Álvarez, as well as the Mayors of the region and autonomous representatives and the Head of the Highway Authority, Ignacio Arango.