|Image of the new road, note old road on the right|
|JCB buried by falling rocks in April 2013|
|Viaduct de Centron during construction in 2005|
The new road is going to give a better view of the rambling 'Metaux Speciaux' works at St Marcel, where chlorine, vandium and various nasty-sounding 'alkaline metals' are made for the nuclear power industry. The plant takes full advantage of the adjacent railway line, dispatching its products in huge rail-tankers during the passenger-free hours of the night. Many of these large industrial complexes were established in the early 20th Century in order to take advantage of the possibilities of hydro-electric power.to produce the huge amount of energy required to turn rocks into gas. Metaux Speciaux managed to produce so much electricity from its own hydro-power plants that for a time the excess was used the power the Lyon city trams!
But is the Deviation de la RN90 á Montgalgan all a huge waste of time and money? Certainly the environmental pressure group Vivre en Tarentaise think so. From the congested 2-lane giratory system around Moutiers one will be able to speed toward the inevitable traffic jam that will occur when the wonderful new stretch of road funnels into one lane in the Tunnel de Saix, before joining the next embouteillage as the two lanes of the Centron viaduct converge at the tricky corner above the narrow Gorge de Centron. And then it's solid all the way to Bourg St Maurice and beyond....
Vivre en Tarentaise raises the question again of why not spend this money on the railway instead? The official answer is the the hundred-year old railway is already 'saturated' at peak times, with no more space for any more trains. Most of it is single track and in tunnels. Deep inside the mountain adjacent the Montgalgan scheme is the extraordinary railway 'boucle', a long spiral tunnel by which the line rises from 480 à 520 m over a short distance. Like the deviation, it took 4 years to build in 1913.
|Boris enjoying the London cable car|
More information (in french): www.rn90montgalgan.fr