This is relief for motorists traveling in the Southwest this weekend: the A63 motorway, which connects Bayonne to Bordeaux (Gironde), has been completely reopened since this Friday evening to light vehicles. Heavy goods vehicles will have to continue to use the diversions. The decision was announced earlier in the afternoon, during a press conference by the prefect of Gironde Fabienne Buccio.
A consultation was carried out with the gendarmes, firefighters and elected officials to prepare for this reopening. “For the moment, the lights are green, that’s why we can reopen the motorway safely,” explained the director of Sdis 33 Marc Vermeulen. According to the prefecture, the Hostens fire, which has already ravaged 7,400 ha, has not deteriorated for two days.
Evacuation possible in less than an hour
Gendarmerie General Loïc Baras clarified the conditions for the reopening of the A63: “When the firefighters report a resumption of fire or that the fire is heading towards the motorway, we undertake to make this axis empty in less of one hour. “For the moment, the delays remain compatible with the speed of spread of the fire”, according to the director of the fire department.
The diversions in the event of closure would be the same as those put in place since Thursday afternoon: from north to south, via La Teste-de-Buch, and in the other direction, via Langon and the A62. “About forty gendarmes will be on call and able to intervene very quickly” if the fire starts again, said General Loïc Baras.
The flow would be directed with men posted at the junctions of the diversions to direct motorists and prevent them from getting lost. As for the possibilities that drivers find themselves in dangerous places by following their GPS, the prefect wants to be reassuring: “There will be markings, and motorists will have no choice but to follow them. »
The decision to reopen this highway, taken by many vacationers, was taken in anticipation of the last great crossover of the summer. Across the country, traffic will be difficult on Saturday on all axes, warned Wednesday Bison smart, which classifies “red” (very difficult) the first day of this extended weekend, before a return to green as soon as the following day.