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EU regional funds investment of €35.6 million for highway linking Santomera and Mar Menor

(20-08-2013)

EU regional funds investment of €35.6 million for highway linking Santomera and Mar Menor

The European Commission has approved an investment of €35.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the construction of a highway connecting the AP-7 motorway in Santomera with Mar Menor in the Spanish region of Murcia.

By connecting the interior of Murcia with the coast, the highway will enhance the accessibility of all municipalities along the stretch, and their connectivity with the airport and coastline. The highway construction gives an economic boost to the region, allowing the creation and development of industrial parks, residential areas, agricultural development and tourism. The new connection will also lower traffic on the Murcia‑Cartagena highway.

Commenting on the approved investment, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said “This highway project plays a crucial role in connecting people and business in the Murcia region. The faster connection between the coast and the interior of the region will bring clear improvements to the quality of life of all residents in the area."

The project involves the construction of 30 km of dual carriageway with two lanes each way from Zeneta to San Javier. Cycle lanes of 29.4km are also part of the project, in order to promote sustainable mobility and environmental sustainability. The construction and management of the highway has created 240 jobs.

The investment comes through the Operational Programme “Murcia” under the priority axis "Transport and Energy". The European Union, through the ERDF, will finance €35.6 million out of a total investment of €111.4 million.

Background:

This is a "major project", of which the total investment (VAT included) is above €50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas other types of projects are approved at national or regional levels.

This project, finished in 2010, is the first part of a bigger intervention that connects the state highway A-7 (Murcia-Alicante) in Santomera with the County of the Sea Menor. Main beneficiaries of the project are the residents of the Southern and Eastern areas of Murcia’s capital and of the Northern part of Sea Menor, as well as the coastal areas. With a capacity of up to 25 000 cars per day, this new highway contributes to lowering the highway traffic between Murcia and Cartagena.

Spain has been allocated more than €35 billion in total cohesion policy funding from 2007-2013.

More information:

EU-funded 'Major Projects'

Project contact

EU cohesion policy in Spain