On a cold and raining morning I decided to drive along La Marsa highway (GP9) in order to post an update on some of the recent changes. The highway is an important road artery for people living in the Carthage & La Marsa suburbs. Unfortunately, it is also famous for speeding and unsafe driving.
Before I get into my La Marsa highway findings, I would like to point out that driving continues to be the number 1 safety/security issue in Tunisia. In fact, road accidents remain the leading cause of death and injury in Tunisia. One of the ways that the transportation ministry is trying to improve this situation is through the use of radars and cameras. While driving along La Marsa highway, it is evident that they are taking this pretty seriously.
In the stretch from the Lac area to La Marsa stadium, a driver can come across 3 radar detectors. Although the speed limit often changes from radar to radar, it is always best to drive below the speed limit. Interestingly enough there is a call center which you can contact to find out whether or not your car has been captured breaking the speed limit by a radar. The toll-free number is 81100700 or simply click here to check it online. I personally called the number and talked with a very helpful lady that spoke good English.
The main update that I was personally happy to see is the new connecting overpass that allows you to go over La Marsa Highway into the Lac area. Before the overpass, that particular intersection was complete madness and many referred to it as the “kamikaze turn”. Now, with both bridges fully functional one can easily go from the Laouina area into the Lac without having to deal with so many road safety issues.
In addition to the new connections, there are new signage and lighting all throughout La Marsa highway. There are also a few other projects currently under construction that will make it even better.
Off Road Notes…
As reported by various sources, the Tunisian association of gas stations, have stated that there maybe a general strike on February 25th, potentially paralyzing fueling stations all around the country.
As always the key to dealing with any of these proposed strikes is not to panic. There are always unintended negative consequences when people start rushing to the fueling stations.
Something I found pretty interesting when studying Tunisian motorways is that Route 1 in the Trans-African Highway network system “passes through Tunisia, linking it to Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Egypt, and West African nations via Mauritania.” From a strategic point of view, this makes you realize how important Tunisia is and how connected we are to our challenged region.
Hopefully like La Marsa highway, the situation will continue to get better.