the essential From the Ramonville terminus to the commercial area of Labège, line B of the Toulouse metro must be extended by 2.7 km. Work on this new version of the Line B Extension, long the subject of controversy, officially begins on March 24.
It’s not just the 3rd metro line under construction in Toulouse. To the south-east of the city, line B, opened in 2007, will be extended from the Ramonville terminus to a station near the Carrefour de Labège shopping center which will be shared with the 3rd line. That is 2.7 km, mainly by air, with an intermediate station in the technological park of the canal in Ramonville, near the Bikini concert hall.
This extension of the second metro line will make it possible to serve one of the main economic zones of the agglomeration and thus change the lives of thousands of people who will perhaps give up their journey by car. The agglomeration community of the South-East, the Sicoval, has long asked for it. The project was the subject of a historic tussle with the Métropole. Until the compromise reached at the start of Jean-Luc Moudenc’s 2014-2020 mandate at the Capitol: the 3rd line to Labège La Cadène and a Line B connection from Ramonville to the Labège shopping center.
After the preparatory work started a year ago, the “CLB” will be officially born during a first pickaxe scheduled by Tisséo Collectivités on March 24. “The Sicoval was impatiently awaiting this moment”, recalls Christophe Lubac, vice-president in charge of transport. If everything goes as planned, the first passengers will board at the end of 2027. One year before the opening of line C.
The Canal du Midi diverted
The extension of line B is “an accumulation of technical exploits”, underlines Jean-Michel Lattes, president of Tisséo Collectivités. To dig the 500 meters underground, a tunnel boring machine should arrive at the end of 2023-beginning of 2024. The metro will come out of the ground on a part of the small wood of Pouciquot located between the parking lot of the terminus and the Canal du Midi. Three environmental associations – Véracruz, FNE and Nature en Occitanie – have obtained from Tisséo that it reduce the part of the wood sacrificed. Six thousand m2 instead of the double will be cleared to install the base of the site. On the other hand, the footprint of the works on the car park will be greater.
Tisséo then planned to temporarily divert the Canal du Midi which will be flown over by the metro. Then will begin a huge viaduct which will span the Hers, the part of the motorway located between the toll and the ring road, and the lake of the polytechnic school of chemistry.
In front of the Labège shopping center, the joint station will be built with the 3rd line, the final name of which remains to be chosen. In this sector, around the Place du Commerce, to free the passage of the viaducts, five businesses have just been destroyed.
New increase linked to the additional cost of works
In December 2021, Tisséo Collectivités announced a one-year delay in the Line B Connection (between Ramonville and the Labège shopping center) as well as an additional cost of €44.5 million, which brought the project to €227 million. Main cause of this increase and this delay, then explained the transport union of the Toulouse agglomeration: a technical difficulty linked to the extension of the automatic system by Siemens, the manufacturer of the trains. At the last meeting of Tisséo Collectivités, on February 8, the elected officials approved a new increase in the project budget, this time due to the additional costs of the site. The cost of the Line B connection thus rose to €249.3 million, an increase of €22.3 million, or 9.8% of the budget planned for 2021, Jean-Michel Lattes announced. During this same meeting, the president of Tisséo Collectivité also revealed the new cost of the 3rd line, now estimated at 3.151 billion euros.