The Head of Infrastructure and Land Development of the Bizkaia Provincial Council and the President of the Port Authority have been to see the eleven new lay-bys set up between Zeanuri and Bedia, the construction of which is the result of an agreement between the two institutions.
Imanol Praderas, Head of Infrastructure and Land Development of the Bizkaia Provincial Council, and Ricardo Barkala, President of the Port Authority of Bilbao, have this morning been to see the eleven new lay-bys in service since 11 October on the N-240 road to Bilbao between the towns of Zeanuri and Bedia.
The construction of these pull over lay-bys has been made possible thanks to a collaboration agreement between the two institutions to improve the accessibility of a road with a high volume of heavy traffic. The average traffic flow on the N-240 ranges from 5,000 vehicles/day between Barazar and Zeanuri, 33% of which are heavy goods vehicles, to 15,700 vehicles/day on the stretch between Lemoa and Usansolo, 13% of which are heavy goods vehicles. Depending on the stretch of road, the N-240 handles between 2,100 and 3,500 lorries a day, and is used a lot by special transport vehicles, as it is the main route between the plant facilities of manufacturers of these types of parts, especially wind turbines, and the port of Bilbao.
Imanol Pradales, Head of Infrastructure and Land Development, stressed the importance of remodelling the road in terms of safety and competitiveness. “Bizkaia needs good lines of communication to be competitive and the N-240 is a good example of how specific solutions can be found to complex problems. Moreover, this has been made possible through effective collaboration. This is the favoured route for lorries travelling between the Spanish Meseta and companies and large transport terminals in Bizkaia, mainly the port of Bilbao but also the airport and logistics areas for freight transport. From now on, special transport vehicles will be required to pull over and stop in these 11 lay-bys if they are causing a tailback of vehicles behind them. This not only improves the traffic flow on the road but also makes it safer for all users”, he explained.
For Ricardo Barkala, President of the Port Authority of Bilbao, “both the Provincial Council and the Port Authority believe that the more competitive the port of Bilbao, the better for the economy of Bizkaia. For this reason, we are working together on improvements that will benefit
exporting and importing companies, which include manufacturers of special parts, such as wind power components, high-tech elements that are key to the decarbonisation strategy and which have a logistics community in the port of Bilbao equipped to ship them anywhere in the world”.
Barkala emphasised that “the port is already specialised in this type of special transport but, together with the Provincial Council, we have made substantial progress in improving a complicated part of the journey that these parts of all sizes, weights and lengths have to make to be loaded on board. For both hauliers and private motorists, the Barazar road was a handicap in that it made their journey more difficult”. For this reason, the Port Authority has invested heavily in these improvements which “will have an impact not only on the competitiveness of the port but also, in turn, on the quality of life of the residents of the area and of all those motorists who use this road on a daily basis”.
Investment in these works stands at EUR 2,725,651. The Port Authority of Bilbao has provided the required funding whilst the Bizkaia Provincial Council has been responsible for the construction project, for providing the necessary land and for tendering the contract to build the lay-bys, all of which are duly signposted and located at kilometre points 27+970, 29+850, 31+500, 32+580, 35+230, 37+530, 39+000, 40+960, 44+345, 47+920 and 53+105. The characteristics and dimensions of each lay-by have been adapted to the terrain and land availability at each location, with widths ranging from a minimum of 5.5 m. to a maximum of 13 m., and lengths from 107 m. for the shortest to 243 m. for the longest.