VIDEO. Castres-Toulouse motorway: we visited the new nerve center of the A69
The main base, which brings together all the teams working on the A69, is open in Puylaurens. Report.
When driving on the Puylaurens ring road you cannot miss it. A large single-storey prefabricated building has been installed along this dual carriageway for several weeks. It is the main base for the crews building the highway between Castres and Verfeil. On the road to Blan, this nerve center of the A69 has been operational since the beginning of the month. The personnel of the Atosca concessionaire and of NGE, the public works company that will carry out the works, have left the temporary headquarters in Balma to be “at the center of the work”.
On an area of 20,000 m2, which already housed the life base of the Puylaurens diversion site, inaugurated in 2008, this site houses a large car park and a main building of 1,500 m2 in which we find on the ground floor the offices of the production departments of NGE (sanitation, embankments, engineering structures, planning, networks, topography, etc.), meeting rooms and a social room, and upstairs the administrative and Atosca departments.
Composed of 96 modules
“It brings everyone together in the same place,” confides Guillaume Thirouin, the construction manager who provides the guided tour. On each side, forming a U, there are other smaller prefabs of around 90 m2 each. On one side, a cloakroom, toilets and a canteen dedicated to workers and a training centre. On the other hand, the laboratory that allows you to study the materials taken from the route (earth and rocks) in view of their reuse for the works. “Our goal is to reuse 90% of the site’s materials to build the motorway,” explains Guillaume Thirouin.
Overall, about a hundred people work or will work on this main housing nucleus, made up of a total of 96 modules which will be dismantled at the end of the project scheduled for autumn 2025 and which will make way for the operations and maintenance center of Atosca, which it will also be the seat of the dealership.
A dozen secondary life bases
These prefabricated buildings, high quality and insulated to offer working comfort to employees who will work there for more than 2 years, will be equipped with solar panels that will supply 35% of the electricity consumption of the housing base.
“These are mobile solar panels that can be reused on other sites,” specifies Guillaume Thirouin who specifies that a wastewater treatment microstation, a rainwater treatment basin and protective barriers for amphibians have been installed on the site. “This is what we are implementing along the entire route of the construction site,” adds the construction manager.
Around ten secondary life bases will be installed throughout the site, i.e. one every 5 km, mainly made up of changing rooms, toilets and a canteen. “It is here that the workers go every morning to hire as close as possible to their workplace”, adds the construction manager.
All those who will be called to work on the A69, around 1,000 people, will first have to go through a “security reception”. An obligatory step that gives them the rules to follow in terms of safety and environmental protection on site.
After the preparation phase, everything is ready for the teams to enter the active phase of highway construction. We started in Castres with the viaduct that will cross the Agout and in Vendine with the toilets.