Eiffage named concession operator of the future A79 motorway in Allier, central France

Concessions Division

A consortium formed by Eiffage (lead) and APRR has been named the concession operator of the A79 or Route Centre-Europe Atlantique motorway by ministerial decree published in the Official Gazette on 15 March 2020.


The project represents an investment of nearly €548 million financed entirely by the Eiffage Group with no balancing subsidies from the French State.
The 48-year concession involves financing, designing, developing, widening, and upgrading to motorway standards as well as operating and maintaining an 89-km section of the current RN 79 national road between Sazaret (Allier) and Digoin (Saône-et-Loire) which will become the A79 motorway.
The teams at Eiffage Génie Civile will be in charge of design, widening to a two-lane dual carriageway and upgrading to motorway standards. Works will also involve Eiffage Route, Eiffage Métal and Eiffage Énergie Systèmes while Egis will handle engineering.
Under a very short deadline—with completion scheduled for 2022—construction can begin after a series of technical and environmental surveys have been carried out. The project is also subject to an environmental permit following the online public consultation that began on Monday 23 March. The consultation will last one month and can be accessed at www.publilegal.fr/enquetepublique/enquetesEnCours where the public can submit comments.
We have planned so that traffic flows will be maintained throughout the entire construction process.
While under construction, the existing road will be managed by APRR. Once the A79 motorway is fully functional, APRR will continue as operator and likewise oversee motorway maintenance.
The Eiffage bid includes specific provisions aimed at the use of cleaner vehicles and installing electric vehicle charging systems in preparation for new requirements expected in the framework law on mobilities. The motorway will also feature a system of toll collection without toll booths, called free-flow tolling, a first for France on such a large scale.