>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 200 million loan to BIDEGI S.A. for building San Sebastián’s second by-pass. EIB Vice-President, Carlos da Silva Costa, and the President of the Provincial Authority of Guipúzcoa, Markel Olano Arrese, presided over the finance contract signing ceremony in Luxembourg this morning.

The loan will serve to finance a new 17 km stretch of the A-8 motorway (Bilbao-Behobia), by-passing San Sebastián. The A-8 (E-70 – E-80) forms part of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) and provides a through route from Portugal to south-west France as well as being a key element of Guipúzcoa’s transport infrastructure.

The aim of the project is to improve conditions for through traffic as the existing by-pass is highly congested because it is also used by urban traffic going in and out of San Sebastián. The new stretch, which will be linked by interchanges to the N-I trunk road and the Urumea motorway, will be 2x2 lanes on the section between Aritzeta and the Urumea interchange (7.8 kms) and 3x2 lanes on the Astigarraga to Errenteria section (8.9 kms).

Bidegi Gipuzkoako Azpiegituren Agentzia – Agencia Guipuzcoana de Infraestructuras, S.A. is a government-owned company overseen by the Provincial Authority of Guipúzcoa which is responsible for managing Guipúzcoa’s section of the A-8 motorway. Its remits include the maintenance, improvement and extension of this trans-European communications link and it reinvests all operating profits into the motorway.

The EIB is the European Union’s long-term financing institution promoting EU objectives. Founded in 1957, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries worldwide.

Developing the trans-European transport networks is crucial to building the single European market and strengthening economic and social cohesion between the EU Member States. Since investment in this sector is always a long-term prospect and plays a key role in fostering Europe’s prosperity, the EIB is clearly committed to financing these networks under a multi-faceted lending policy including in particular the systematic assessment and consideration of environmental aspects.