Widening works on the A61 motorway between Toulouse and Narbonne: completion of works this summer

the essential
After the vagaries which delayed the widening of the A61 motorway at Villefranche-du-Lauragais, work has resumed and Vinci Autoroutes intends to put 34 km of 2 x 3 lanes into service, in Villefranche and Lézignan-Corbières, this summer 2023 .

The holiday motorway towards the Mediterranean should, hopefully, be freed this summer of 2023 from the two construction sites, in Villefranche-du-Lauragais and Lézignan-Corbières, which interrupt traffic on this route which is very popular in particular with residents of Toulouse, during weekend departures.

€200 million for 34 km with 2X3 lanes

34 km of road widened to 2 X 3 lanes should therefore be put into service before the big summer departures on holidays: 14 km in Villefranche-du-Lauragais, in the Haute-Garonne department, between the junction towards the A 66 and Avignonet- Lauragais, and 20km near Lézignan-Corbières, in the Aude, between the Lézignan junction and the junction towards Narbonne and Perpignan. “Indeed, 10 km have already been delivered in the Aude sector,” explains François David, operational director of Vinci Autoroutes for this extension of the A61 motorway. “A third way long awaited by our customers”, comments the manager. An overall budget of around two hundred million euros will then have been dedicated to this development started in 2019, entirely built under traffic and in a limited space, but which has known many vicissitudes, including the health crisis linked to Covid, which affected the population works, and the exit of a company in the Villefranche sector, which requested the launch of a new tender procedure in 2022.

More work in the spring then a ministerial decision

“Work in the Villefranche sector resumed on January 23 after the new call for tenders, explains François David, this is the least advanced construction site. The works for the construction of the final pavements still have to be carried out in May, which will be monitored with checks, safety inspections and visits by the supervisory body, the State, since Vinci is only a State concessionaire.Complete power plant, with speed limit at 90 km/h. The construction of the final roads will take place at night in April and the finishing touches later in the day”.

A limitation if not the end of traffic jams?

After inspections and checks by the State services, the commissioning of the two sections, completed and validated, will require a ministerial resolution. François David prefers not to commit to a specific opening date, given all this administrative procedure and the imponderables that can always affect such heavy work done under traffic. “It’s a fairly complex operation,” sums up the manager. Eventually, there will therefore be only a few 2 x 2 lane sections on the A 61, mainly in the Aude department, between Port-Lauragais and Lézignan (apart from some 3 lane sections near Carcassonne). Hopefully these developments will ease the notorious weekend traffic jams on this increasingly busy motorway.

Night work from this Tuesday 14 on the A61 with arrow detours

As part of the works on the 2×3 lanes of the A61, the Vinci Autoroutes teams will carry out works on the Villefranche- de-Lauragais (Haute-Garonne). In order to limit the inconvenience to traffic, these operations will be carried out exclusively at night. Partial closures of the motorway and junctions will be necessary during these nights to ensure the safety of both workers and motorists. Detour routes, marked with yellow signs, will be set up to guide motorists and allow them to reach their destination via the local network.

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