Société de l'Autoroute Paris-Lyon (SAPL) was established in 1961, principally for the purposes of building and operating the A6 motorway linking Paris and Lyon. The motorway was fully operational in 1970 and connections to the cities of Dijon and Beaune were opened in 1974. In 1975, after having been granted the concession for the new A36 connecting Beaune and Mulhouse and the A31 (formerly A26) motorways, SAPL changed its name to Société des Autoroutes Paris Rhin Rhône (SAPRR).
In 1977, the network was 500km long
Between 1977 and 1987, in addition to the A31 and A36 motorways, the company built the A40, A42, A46, A5 and A71 motorways, and began work on the A39. By 1987, the network in service exceeded 1,000km.
During this period, on 10 April 1981, the company was also granted the concession for the Maurice Lemaire tunnel in the Vosges mountains, in a project totalling 11km, including 4km of access roads. In 1991, the company created Société d'Information Radio Autoroutière (SIRA) with the goal of keeping customers on the Group's motorways informed and improving the management of traffic flows on the network.
By 1994, the network of motorways and tunnels in service exceeded 1,500km
In 1994, the company acquired the respective holdings in Société des Autoroutes Rhône-Alpes (AREA) of the French government and Autoroutes de France, another public-sector entity. AREA had been created in 1970 to build the Alpine motorway network which, at the time the company purchased AREA, included 368 km of roads linking the Lyon, Chambéry, Annecy, Grenoble and Valence areas. The consolidated network of the new Group formed a geographically coherent system covering nearly 1,900 km.
Between 1995 and 2000, the Group built the A19 motorway connecting Sens and Courtenay, the Oyonnax spur (A404), the Gannat spur (A719), the A39 linking Dôle and Bourg-en-Bresse, the A77 from Dordives to Cosne-sur-Loire and the A51 between Grenoble and Coynelle.
By 2000, the Group was operating a 2,193km network of motorways and tunnels
Public motorway sector reform in France in 2001 led to the two company's concessions being extended until 2032 and to the adoption of French generally-accepted accounting principles.
As at 31 December 2003, the Group had 2,205km of motorways in service
out of a total of 2,225 km under concession. The imminent completion of the remaining portions of the network significantly improved the Group's financial position, which had been previously strained by the substantial debt incurred to finance construction of the network. The La Boisse - Saint-Laurent de Mure section of the A432 also entered service in 2003.
2004: The French government disposed of 30%
of the capital of Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône in a partial flotation in December.
Following the privatisation process, the consortium formed by Eiffage and Macquarie was chosen to acquire the respective holdings of the French Government and Autoroutes de France in Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône.
Further to the disposal by the French Government of its stake in APRR, the remodelled APRR board of directors appointed Jean-François Roverato as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman of AREA.
The 10.5 kilometre Coynelle-Col du Fau section of the A51 motorway was opened.
The 19 kilometre Annecy-Genève section (Liane of the A41 motorway, ADELAC concession) was opened.
New sections of A432, A406 and A714 motorways were opened.