Spain Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, was in Murcia on Wednesday where he was accompanied by the Minister of Development, Íñigo de la Serna.

At the event, held at the Promenade de Murcia, Rajoy addressed different representatives of local businesses as well as members of opposition parties and of the regional government with President Fernando López Miras at the head.

He was quick to bring up the subject of Corvera airport, whose management has recently been awarded by the government to Aena, and said that “this coming year will begin the transfer of the San Javier airport staff to the new International Airport, which will be opened in 2018.”

On the subject of water and the severe drought in the Region of Murcia his words were highly anticipated. “We are going to promote an initiative in Congress to launch a National Water Plan in which all communities are involved,” he promised.

And with regard to the AVE, Rajoy said that “the high speed will finally arrive this year too, it iwill prove to be an indispensable part of the infrastructure for the Region of Murcia in enabling it to continue growing, and that cannot wait”.

But most of the speech was devoted to the construction of the Northwest Arc, a motorway bypass that will allow the direct connection of Cartagena with Madrid without going through Murcia, decongesting the traffic around it, and also enabling communication between Lorca and the capital of Spain. It is the first work of an extraordinary road investment plan announced by Rajoy, after its approval by the government last summer.

The Ministry of Public Works plans to publish the viability study of the Northwest Arc tomorrow, Thursday, in the BOE, the final step prior to inviting tenders. The cost of the investment is expected to cost reach 279 million euros.

The intention of the Northeast Arc and the North Arc (this will have to wait) is to reduce the traffic around Murcia, especially the West Circular, which supports more than 115,000 vehicles per day; as well as the stretches to Alicante and Lorca that are close to the capital.

The Northwest Arc will function as a bypass that will alleviate traffic flows with the coast. On the A-30 motorway, from the junction of Archena, users will be able to head directly towards Cartagena and the Mar Menor through the Puerto de la Cadena.

The new road plan will be constructed between 2018 and 2021 with the participation of the large construction companies, as it will have financing and private management. Users will not have to pay any toll.

“We are the most competitive country in the world thanks to our infrastructures, and that is why we will give a boost to the extraordinary road investment plan (PIC), which will create 150,000 jobs and allow the creation of 2,000 kilometres in 4 years,” said Rajoy.