APRR’S ROLE AS A MOTORWAY DEVELOPER
Design, consulting and construction
The Group continues to develop its infrastructure, to cope with growth in traffic and to ensure ideal driving conditions across the network. Investments serve a variety of purposes, including creating new links, increasing the number of lanes to smooth traffic flows and increasing the number of network access points to better serve the communities through which it passes.
In order to successfully complete all these projects under the supervision of the French State and to ensure that the motorway serves the public interest, APRR operates in partnership with all other stakeholders.
Stakeholders and responsibilities
- The government decides on the project, and acts as the contracting authority for design studies and preliminary procedures when planning new links. It establishes the calendar and specifications, appoints the concession operator and upholds compliance with the concession agreement during the construction and operating phases.
- APRR acts as contracting authority for the detailed design studies, licensing procedures and works. These actions are based on an operating programme defined by the government. During the period covered by the government contract, APRR is responsible for management and maintenance of the structure. The Group collects toll payments to fund its investments in network improvements and repay capital loans.
- Local authorities are invited to state their requirements at each stage of the project construction process, enabling projects to be fine-tuned for local needs and constraints. In some cases, they also contribute to projects financially.
Depending on the state of progress of development projects (in either the preliminary or operational phase), the French government, the concession operator and local authorities may share responsibility for design activities, project studies, public inquiries, construction and finance.
Preliminary phase : stakeholder responsibilities
The French State:
- manages the public debate process and consults with local authorities
- defines the link options via service plans
- conducts the preliminary studies and decides on a 1,000 m wide corridor
- conducts the preliminary design studies and decides on a 300 m wide band
- manages the consultation procedure (possibly managed jointly)
- submits a project located inside the 300 m band for the public interest inquiry
- declares public interest and publishes the commitments made by the State
- selects a concession operator after a European-wide competitive bidding process.
For supplemental investments
The French State:
- initiates the project based on the requirements states by local authorities or the concession operator
- gives the ministerial green light for the operation and determines the funding approach.
The concession operator:
- provides the government with summary files describing the interchange system, the number of lanes and any requests in principle
- formalises the finance agreements with the relevant local and regional authorities.
Operational phase : stakeholder responsibilities
The concession operator:
- defines the detailed project schedule
- selects actors: project manager, land operator, architect, landscape architect, etc.
- conducts preliminary studies and organises a local consultation process in liaison with the project manager
- is responsible for land management
- conducts the necessary licensing procedures (relating to the public interest status of supplemental investments, the Water Act, cadastral issues, planning permission, classified facilities, etc.)
- appoints contractors after conducting a competitive bidding process, following suggestions from the project manager
- leads construction work and performs quality control
- commissions and subsequently operates the structure.
The project manager:
- designs the project in accordance with the project schedule
- supports the client regarding the local consultation process
- prepares the contractor selection process
- leads and monitors execution of the construction works by contractors
- supports the client by monitoring costs, schedule compliance and work quality.
The French State:
- verifies compliance of the built structures
- authorises commissioning
- enforces the commitments made by the various stakeholders.
Consulting, discussion and recognition
Public meetings are also held in local communities concerned by the development project. A permanent public information system featuring posters, special works signage, newsletters and websites, for example, is set up to inform people about project progress.
This approach informed by outside inputs and dialogue also applies to land purchasing procedures. In most cases, compulsory purchases are avoided by compensating owners, tenants and farmers based on valuations determined by the land agency France Domaine in accordance with the applicable protocols. Only 2% of cases result in compulsory purchases. In 95% of cases, land is purchased via unforced sales; in the remaining 3%, the procedure is rendered complicated by difficulties in identifying owners or by joint ownership issues.
Assessment under the "LOTI" Domestic Transport Act
Before final approval can be issued, large infrastructure projects must be subjected to a forward-looking assessment of their economic and social effects and their consequences for the environment.
APRR and AREA have therefore commissioned socioeconomic and environmental assessments for the major motorway links entrusted to them by the French government.
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INVESTING TO PROTECT AND MODERNISE
APRR invests in the network to protect the assets entrusted to the Group and address future mobility needs. APRR improves travelling conditions for customers not only by carrying out everyday maintenance and servicing, but also by building new developments.
2014-2018 Management Contracts
The concession contracts agreed by the French government and APRR in 2001 are supplemented by two five-year management contracts, one concerning APRR, the other AREA. These contracts stipulate the investment in the network required from the Group in exchange for new toll pricing formulas that were introduced in 2014 and will remain in force until 2018.
MOTORWAY REGENERATION PLAN
On 9 April 2015, the concession operators and the French government agreed a motorway regeneration plan involving a total investment of €3.2 billion. The aim of this plan is to modernise the motorway networks while supporting employment in the public works and service sectors.