Val d’Europe is a quickly-growing community, and part of a Projet d’Intérêt Général (PIG, or General Interest Project). The Convention of 1987 designated the 2,230 hectares next to Europe’s top tourist destination that make up this community. With only half the total space having yet been developed, Val d’Europe is already home to residences, offices, a business park, a TGV station, a shopping area including the Val d’Europe Shopping Centre and La Vallée Village outlet shops. Such a busy site requires good infrastructure, an effective network of roads, and adequate transportation equipment. Julien Carrard, Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Transportation Development at Real Estate Development by Euro Disney, talked with us about planned projects in the coming years.
Anticipating future infrastructure needs is a key part of Julien’s daily work. As the urbanization plans for Val d’Europe take effect, Julien and his team work with the public landscaper (EPA France) and Val d’Europe Agglomération (formerly SAN du Val d’Europe) to define the major routes, transport networks, sanitation and energy needs before the development of each new residential, commercial, or touristic project. The 4th phase of development of Val d’Europe, agreed upon in autumn 2014 with public authorities, kicked off several new projects.
In 2015, the area welcomed over 37 million visitors: 15 million visitors to Disneyland Paris, 16 million visitors to the Val d’Europe shopping centre, and 6.5 million visitors to La Vallée Village outlet shops. Infrastructure must be adapted to accommodate both the growing number of tourists as well as the burgeoning local population.
Dual highways for better circulation on Avenue Robert Schuman and Avenue Hergé
To decrease traffic problems, avenue Robert Schuman will receive a second lane and a new non-stoplight junction linking it to avenue Goscinny (which leads to the bus and train station and some Disney hotels). The new Art Deco-inspired district currently being constructed in Chessy is another reason to expand the avenue Hergé beginning in 2019.
A modified exit on the A4 for Villages Nature
Among other big roadworks, exit 14 of the A4 will be changed to access Davy Crockett ranch and Villages Nature, in addition to the Disney Parks. This construction will also include a bridge across the A4, linking these three major tourist hubs.
Easier access to the Marne-la-Vallée Chessy train station
The huge success of the SNCF’s new Oui-Go service, launched in 2013, impacted the road traffic in the direction of Marne-la-Vallée Chessy. “The current access road is used by local buses, visitors’ cars, coaches going to the theme parks, taxis… Today’s traffic flow can no longer be supported by the infrastructure from 1992. The work that has already begun will improve circulation and access to the train station, leading to a less congested avenue Goscinny. Lanes for cars and buses will be separated, and train station drop-off points will be redesigned with new limitations, destination-specific zones, and distinct lanes. Digital signage will display vacancies in the parking lots and the drop-off points in real time, to avoid congestion. The first positive effects will be noticeable as soon as 2016,” explains Julien.
Big changes for the bus station
The bus station at Marne-la-Vallée Chessy will also be renovated early in 2017 to accommodate more passengers. A new bus car park will be built, bringing the total parking capacity to 23 buses instead of the current 14. Construction should begin in June.
Construction of a south transportation hub
In 2017, the station will be expanded with an annex station south of the esplanade des Passagers du Vent. Early next year, some local buses will drop passengers at the Disney Village roundabout thanks to three new stops near the Vinci car park (now called Indigo).
The southern bus station will be expanded with 8 new boarding areas by the end of 2017. In the same time frame, a new southern exit of the RER train station will allow easier access to the boarding areas without crossing the tourist area. Preliminary studies are currently being completed by the RATP transportation service and the Disney teams.
Val d’Europe : France’s n°1 TGV hub
Due to the increasing number of passengers (a whopping 4.5 million in 2015 compared to 2.6 million in 2010), TGV service could be expanded in the coming years, in partnership with the SNCF. The Marne-la-Vallée station is already the top TGV hub in France, due in large part to its extensive network and a connection to Eastern European TGV lines to Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne and to the Eurostar line to London.
Improving the quality of service on the RER A
In 2012, the RER A voted to adopt a new blueprint to renovate the line and its the quality of service. To better serve the more than 1.1 million passengers that travel on the RER A every day, the train’s tracks will be renovated and a train maintenance area will be built at its terminus, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy. These projects will increase the number of trains running from 6 to 18 trains per hour by 2022 at the latest.
Val d’Europe, the future is here
With 60,000 residents for 60,000 jobs in Val d’Europe by 2030, infrastructure needs continue to increase. One of the most quickly-developing areas in France, the architects and urban planners of Real Estate Development are already designing the future of this city, with the support of Julien Carrard and his teams. Stay tuned for future updates about this exciting and ambitious project!