The Marão Tunnel, between Vila Real and Amarante, was crossed by almost 12.5 million vehicles and accounts for 26.9 million euros of toll revenues in three years, according to data from Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP).
Marão Motorway concluded the extension of the A4 from Amarante to Vila Real, includes a road tunnel of almost six kilometers and opened on May 8, 2016, after seven years of work, three stops in the works and the rescue by the State.
According to data released today by IP to the Lusa agency, since opening to traffic they have crossed the Marão Tunnel near 12.5 million vehicles, on average more than 11,300 vehicles per day.
The average volume of heavy traffic is 12%.
According to the company, in this period the tunnel accounts for 26.9 million euros of toll revenues, namely 4.9 million euros in 2016 (May to December), 8.7 million euros in 2017, 10.1 million euros of euros in 2018 and 3.2 million euros in 2019 (January to April)
For IP, "these figures are well demonstrative of the great importance that the opening to traffic of the Marão Tunnel represented for the improvement of mobility conditions, constituting the most secure and effective road link in the region of Trás-os-Montes ".
"The tunnel is increasingly consolidating itself as an important tool for the region," said Lusa, the president of the Business Association of Vila Real – Nervir, Luís Tão.
The official said that "everything shortened" with this new accessibility, which facilitated the connection of Trás-os-Montes to the coast of the country, "facilitating the life" of companies and entrepreneurs in the region.
"It's almost a 'just in time', to order today and arrive today, everything accelerated, the speed of delivery, the speed with which you can perform works," he stressed.
When it opened the Marão Tunnel, companies were still accounting for the tolls, the fuel and the wear and tear of the vehicles on the ascent of the Marão mountain range, by Principal Route 4 (IP4).
"I can not imagine any economic development without the tunnel. It is already rooted in all of us, "said Luís Tão.
However, the president of Nervir said that this infrastructure risks being in the space of one or two decades, the last great public work realized in the region, since in the National Program of Investments (PNI) 2030 "is not foreseen".
"It will be like the last big investment and you know it a little bit," he said.
The tunnel is considered a safe infrastructure, however, a bus fire that occurred inside the tunnel in June 2017 drew attention to issues related to the response to the occurrence.
As a result, since June of last year teams of three firefighters, targeting the corporations of the White Cross (Vila Real) and Amarante, are permanently in the tunnel for prevention, first intervention and relief.