Reopening of France’s A13 motorway delayed as new cracks discovered

Traffic built up on neighbouring roads - but the empty lanes were not completely deserted…

A view of a road sign that says A6-A13 in Paris
The closed section of the A13 motorway had been due to reopen today but it remains closed indefinitely after more problems were discovered

The reopening of a portion of the A13 motorway has been delayed today (April 29) after new cracks were discovered, causing traffic to build up in the surrounding area.

The section of motorway between Vaucresson (Hauts-de-Seine) and Paris had been due to reopen after having been closed in both directions for 10 days, pending investigation and repair of reported cracks on the Saint-Cloud bridge on April 18.

Some cracks were up to 80cm deep, it had been reported. The damage is thought to have been caused by ‘earth movements’, but the source of the problem has not been determined, and the road now remains unexpectedly closed for longer than planned.

The original cracks had been filled and sealed, but new fissures were discovered shortly after, the road authority in Ile-de-France said. However, it insisted that the problems were not due to a lack of maintenance, and that work to determine the cause of the issue, and to make the road safe again, is ongoing.

A reopening date has not yet been announced.

The viaduct typically sees 120,000 vehicles cross everyday, as the route is a major access point between Paris and Normandy. With the major road closed, vehicles are forced to use smaller routes through neighbouring towns, causing traffic to build up rapidly.

Authorities in the area are holding a meeting today (Monday, April 29) in a bid to determine the scope of the problems and repair work, and to establish a new reopening date for the route section. 

Runners, cyclists, and a fox

The empty four-kilometre section of closed lanes is not totally unused..

Over the weekend, runners and cyclists were making the most of the deserted highway to train on the smooth tarmac, with no danger from vehicles.

The account posting the images, CycloTransEurope, said: “It’s unusual, after all. People want to make the most of it.”

Similarly, animals appeared to be enjoying the peace; another account on X (Twitter) captured a curious fox investigating the highway, and running alongside it for several moments before heading back into the vegetation.