For more than 150 years, the Principality of Monaco has opted to adapt its urban planning to the small size of its territory which is just two square kilometres.

The scarcity of available real estate has led the Principality to extend progressively into the sea. Now a new expansion project is underway that will add another six hectares of land to the Principality on the eastern side of the main port.

The contract for this major expansion project has been awarded to the Bouygues Travaux Publics Group along with S.A.M. Anse du Portier. There will be substantial involvement from Monegasque companies and solid financial guarantees have been included. The total value of the maritime infrastructure works is approximately €1 billion.

Philippe Bonnave, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bouygues Construction, said, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the development of the Principality of Monaco by way of this new land reclamation project which will create six hectares of habitable space, meeting the highest ambitions with respect to sustainable development and environmental protection.”

The project includes the construction of an eco-neighbourhood primarily consisting of 60,000 m² of housing, public facilities, an extension to the Grimaldi Forum, a public car park, a marina with pedestrian wharves, a landscaped park, a seafront promenade and a shaded, planted walkway running the length of the Japanese Garden.

The construction technique to be used for the maritime infrastructure is a fill enclosed by a band of 18 trapezoid shaped reinforced concrete caissons, each one 26m tall and weighing 10,000 tonnes. These pre-cast units will be constructed in a floating dry dock and then launched and towed to the installation site where they will be sunk onto a prepared seabed and then filled with rock. These pre-cast units have wave absorption chamber fitted to their seaward side which will help to reduce breaches by strong swells and protect the exposed areas of the project. Once these outer protection caissons are in place the area behind them will be filled with rock material with most of the 250,000 tonnes of rock needed for this project being shipped in from quarries in Sicily.

This expansion project will be required to pay the closest attention to protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity. Close by along the coastline are the Larvotto Reserve and the Spélugues coral reef and the construction work will also have to respect the neighbouring areas, sites and landscapes.

The eco-neighbourhood is expected to qualify for a number of recognised environmental certifications, including HQE Aménagement, BREEAM and the Clean Ports label. A marina will be incorporated into the development, located at the western end of the reclaimed land and will feature berths for a small number of yachts. Work on this project is set to begin at the end of this year and should be completed by 2025.

By Dag Pike