On June 25, 2014 the presentation of the Final Design of the Greater Tunis Bypass was held in Tunis.
The meeting of the Steering Committee witnessed, therefore, the result of the design work performed during the last three years by the group Lotti Ingegneria - Comete Engineering, and of an intensive participatory process that involved a considerable number of consultants and institutions at all levels.After the final design approval the Consultant will now proceed with preparation of the Tender Documents.
The Design Team wished to recollect the path followed in these three years, focusing on the key concepts that have guided the development of the project.
Due to their rapid growth, a significant importance in the Tunisia transportation network is represented by the urban areas. The network of Tunis, that holds over 2 million of inhabitants, needs an improvement in order to prevent traffic jam in the city center providing a suburban link between the existing motorways. The current expressways (route X and X20) pass through highly built-up areas and are already fully saturated.
For this reason, it is necessary to provide a third ring, outside the urbanized area, in order to improve the Capital traffic management for the medium-long distance transits, decongesting the city center and balancing the load on the road network.
OBJECTIVES - EXPECTED RESULTS
The new infrastructure will liaise with the outer Tunis metropolitan ring, a rapidly growing area with strong potential, strengthening the accessibility of regional poles, favoring a redistribution of logistics centers and facilitating the development of large projects such as the Financial Port, Tunis Telecom City and others.
From the very beginning a strong emphasis has been given to all the aspects of road safety, especially with a careful analysis of the visibility requirements from the earliest stages of the project (Feasibility and Corridor study), subjecting the study of alternatives to the rigid observance of these constraints, in order to prevent hazardous situations from occurring in the following stages, when it is harder to resolve them.
CONSTRAINTS AND OPTIMAL SOLUTION
The area presents a wide number of constraints, which have been properly identified and analyzed from the earliest stages (urban areas and their planning, land use and agriculture, irrigation, land value, geology and hydrography, archeology, etc ...).
The large amount of data collected - geo-referenced and integrated in a GIS model - was used in the Feasibility and Preliminary Design to carry out a detailed Multi-criteria analysis, based on a large number of indicators, grouped into three main families: Technical, Economical and Environmental.
The merge of the results of this analysis with the requests emerged from the participatory process described above have allowed the Consultant and the Administration to carry out with convincing confidence the choice of the optimal route to keep for the Detailed Engineering Design stage, and to strongly support its validity for the continuation of the project – even in the face of a sometimes remarkable opposition by local land owners.
It is important to design a modern infrastructure with the intent and desire to give it an architectural characterization which maintains and emphasizes the link with the local culture and tradition.
Throughout this operation, moreover, a highly "recognizable” and outstanding infrastructure is obtained, both for users and for the people who will cross it, appropriate to the importance and size of the project.
The architect was inspired by the symbol of the Phoenician goddess Tanith, declined in various version and used for the characterization of all structures, such as viaduct piers or underpasses and tunnel linings.
RELIEF OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION
The traffic studies and model carried out by the Consultant has fully confirmed that the project objectives are fully matched.
On 2027, the opening of the Rocade will reduce up to 45% of the traffic on the radial urban roads.
The gains in terms of transport cost and reduction of travel time on the city's network represent a large part of the economic benefits evaluated in the Feasibility Study.
As mentioned, the scheme is the result of a long participatory process that was articulated through:
- 5 meetings of an inter-ministerial steering committee
- 7 Public consultations in 3 different governorates
- 2 passes to the Council of Ministers, called upon to decide a difficult choice about which alternative preferred in the north
- A continuous technical coordination with other technical authorities involved in the project (Tunisie Autoroute, the consultant in charge of the study ECOSO motorway - which is linked to Rocade, the CRDA (Min. of Agricolture), the dams authority, etc ... )
- 2 different social surveys, carried out in the first lot to be built, in order to examine the response of the population to estimate the project and identify any issues of social order.
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