Why is the Prime Minister going to the inauguration of the Camélat bridge on Saturday May 4?

Why is the Prime Minister going to the inauguration of the Camélat bridge on Saturday May 4?
Why is the Prime Minister going to the inauguration of the Camélat bridge on Saturday May 4?

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is going to Agen, in Lot-et-Garonne, this Saturday, May 4, for the inauguration of the Camélat bridge which will cross the Garonne to connect Le Passage d’Agen and Colayrac-saint-Cirq .

The Camélat bridge has been awaited for more than thirty years in Lot-et-Garonne. After 22 months of construction, the project is coming to an end this Saturday, May 4. For the occasion, the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, is traveling to the department for the inauguration, alongside Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate for Europe, and Patrice Vergriete, Minister Delegate for Transport.

What will this new bridge allow?

It is the third bridge to span the Garonne in the department. More than 300 meters long, it will connect Le Passage d’Agen and Colayrac-saint-Cirq by rebalancing the flow of motorists between the left bank and the right bank and by relieving traffic congestion in the heart of the urban area.

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Aerial view of the bridge in January 2024.

© city of Agen

The establishment of the Pont de Camélat and the new road, called “Barreau de Camélat”, which connects the RD119 on the left bank to the RN21 on the right bank, also aims to open up the north-eastern regions of the department, notably Villeneuvois and Fumélois, as well as the south-east, including Albret. This initiative will allow smoother and faster access to the A62 and the RN21 from these territories, thus promoting their economic integration and development. More than 13,000 cars are expected daily on the new infrastructure.

How much did the project cost?

The project began in June 2022 and will therefore end in May, three months behind the initial schedule. The cost of the work amounts to more than 60 million euros, including 20 million euros financed by the State. The structure is also the first to have a 6 km cycle path.

Why will the Prime Minister go to the inauguration?

The Prime Minister responded favorably to the invitation from the mayor of Agen, Jean Dionis, who had also invited other political figures such as the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, and the former Prime Minister Jean Castex. The latter had already attended the launch of the project in July 2021 and came to lay the first stone on the site the following year.

Why are opposition elected officials indignant at the amount of the inauguration?

Some municipal councilors were outraged at the cost of the inauguration, which would amount to 280,000 euros. In a press release, members of the opposition described this sum as “indecent”. 280,000 euros to celebrate for a bridge is indecent in the current economic context where many Agenais are forced to give up essential expenses due to lack of sufficient means to support them.” can we read in the press release.

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