Nîmes Montpellier LGV
On June 28, 2012, it was decided that construction for a Nîmes-Montpellier railway bypass would be handled by the Oc Via group, led by Bouygues. The project involves building a new 80 km line between Manduel in the Gard department and Lattes in the Hérault department. 1.75 billion euros will be invested, plus an additional 135 million euros to create the new Montpellier Odysseum train station. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole will contribute 88 million euros towards funding these two projects. Work on the railway line will begin in late 2013. The line is expected to open in October 2017.
A9 motorway bypass
Managed by ASF (Autoroutes du Sud de la France), this 780 million euro construction project will separate long-distance traffic from local traffic in southern Montpellier. Two types of development are planned: on one hand, creating 12 km of lanes by Montpellier, alongside the upcoming LGV train line; on the other hand, widening the current motorway (4 x 3 lanes) along 9 km to the west and 4 km to the east of Montpellier. Work will begin in late 2013, for completion in late 2017.
1,000 new jobs
Construction projects will generate thousands of jobs around the local territory. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is already getting ready. The community plans to create an operational department, similar to the Tramway Employment Team created for working on lines 3 and 4. With stakeholders involved with the construction (Pôle Emploi, Regional Council, Hérault General Council, national government, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole's local youth mission, TaM, FFB, FRTB, Capeb, and more), this structure sought to identify companies' needs, assist with recruitment, offer the required training and contribute to integrating unemployed people. This team received over 1,650 job seekers between 2009 and 2012, and collected some 250 offers. It also facilitated the application of a specific integration clause. For tramway line 3, social integration through employment represented 12% of the total number of hours worked, a much higher level than expected.
Better accessibility throughout the territory
Planned investment will not only stimulate economic activity, but it will also improve accessibility throughout the territory. Creating a Nîmes-Montpellier LGV fast train line, along with its planned extension to Perpignan and creating an additional Narbonne-Toulouse-Bordeaux line, will position Montpellier on the map of major European metropolitan areas. Montpellier will then be only 3 hours from Paris, 1.5 hours from Barcelona and 1 hour 10 minutes from Lyon. The new tramway lines and A9 motorway bypass will improve the territorial network grid. Transforming the current A9 into an urban boulevard will give the area a bypass that it has needed on its southern side. This work will be an opportunity to build two other strategic routes: a detour on the east side of Montpellier (DEM), and another bypass on the west (COM). Expected benefits include smoother traffic flow, less time wasted in congested traffic and lower stress. It all means more efficiency for companies and a better quality of life for everyone.