Officials from the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis have presented more details of the proposed traffic scheme at the so-called Hospital roundabout close to the border of Monaco and France during a public meeting in Cap-d’Ail.

The essence of the scheme is a two-way underpass, intended to smooth the flow of 15,000 vehicles that pass every weekday coming into and leaving Monaco.

The scheme is aimed in particular at reducing the daily build-up of traffic and notorious traffic jams coming into the Principality.

Only light vehicles would be able to use the underpass, so heavy vehicles would still need to navigate the roundabout.

The somewhat rowdy meeting in Cap d’Ail – whose municipal council and Mayor oppose the scheme – was shown an artist’s illustration of how the scheme will look, from the perspective of Monaco toward the Moyenne Corniche.

The plan is for Monaco to finance 80 percent of the 11 million euros needed for the underpass, while also picking up three-quarters of the 20.5 million euros bill for associated road-widening.

Provided there are no delays, work could start at the end of next year and finish at the end of 2026.

Needless to say, the negative consequences on traffic during the work would be considerable, as would be the environmental impact. On top of that, critics of the scheme say it just wouldn’t work if the aim is to improve access to the Principality, as any localised traffic speed-up would result in relocating the choke points.

PHOTO: Artist’s impression of the 11 million-euros underpass Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis