Southern Metropolitan By-Pass

All about the Southern Metropolitan By-Pass

The Bilbao Metropolitan Southern Bypass was included in the Bizkaia Special Accessibility Plan 2003, approved by the General Assemblies.

The Metropolitan Southern Bypass is an alternative route to the A-8 motorway between the Pobeña Viaduct (Muskiz) the Kortederra zone, on the municipal boundary between Galdakao Amorebieta. It is 36 km long.

In principle, three implementation phases are planned. Phase 1A will run the Santurtzi hub to the Larraskitu hub, by the current Eastern Bypass link road. It will be a total of 16 km long. This first phase is seen as the solution to the existing regular traffic problems in the section of A-8 between Sestao the Bilbao exit at Sabino Arana.

Phase 1 of the Southern Metropolitan Bypass (VSM) begins in Santurtzi (past the Ugadelbieta service area) and reaches Venta Alta (Arrigorriaga). It is divided into two sub-phases:

  • Phase 1a, between Santurtzi and Larraskitu, began in May 2007 and has been in service since September 2011.
  • Phase 1b: from Peñascal to Venta Alta, started in January 2019, and entered into service in spring 2023.

Its implementation fulfils the main objective of Phase 1: The creation of a functional and safe road alternative to the most congested section of the A-8 motorway, which is the section between the Port link and the AP-68 motorway.

The general objectives of the Bizkaia Road Plan are also achieved:

  • To optimise the functioning of the Metropolitan Road Network.
  • To respect the environment and natural values at levels that ensure quality of life by reducing congestion times and pollution and noise levels.
  • To reduce the accident rate by eliminating accident hot spots.
  • And to provide a new approach for demand management and traffic control.

Main Characteristics

The bypass has a trunk road with three lanes in each direction and a length of 17.8 Km, half of which is built under tunnels.

In order to overcome the difficult terrain of the surroundings and to avoid the environmental and visual impact of the new road as much as possible, five tunnels have been built, all of them double tunnels: Argalario (2,150 metres), Mesperuza (708 metres), Santa Águeda (2,030 metres), Arraiz (2,273 metres), and Larraskitu (965 metres).

Alongside the trunk road of the VSM (AP-8), it has been necessary to build four new junctions: Ortuella – Portugalete – Trapaga (A-8, BI-3747, BI-3748, BI-3749), Galindo (Eje Ballonti), Kastrexana (BI-636/Corredor Cadagua), and Larraskitu – Buia (A-8, AP-68, BI-613/Miraflores).

Overall, the completion of the roads and junctions of the bypass required the construction of: 21 viaducts, five double tunnels, two cut-and-cover tunnels, four underpasses, three overpasses, with 11 existing overpasses and underpasses having been modified, and a pedestrian walkway has been built to connect the bicycle lanes of the Left Bank with those of the Zona Minera.

Links of Southern Metropolitan By-Pass

Links of Southern Metropolitan By-Pass
Link Type of link Kilometre Marker Point Related links
Directional km 113. It links up with the AP-68, allowing only Bilbao-Vitoria and vice versa, and includes a free-flow toll collection area in the direction of Bilbao-Vitoria. Show details
Directional km 115.200. It connects with the A-8 (Gipuzkoa) and BI-631 (Miraflores Bridge that connects with the N-634). Show details
Full km 119.300. It connects with the BI-636 (Kadagua Corridor that connects with Balmaseda), BI-3651 (Access to Alonsotegi), and BI-3742 (Access to Zorroza - Bilbao). Show details
Directional km 126.450. It connects with the A-8 (Cantabria), BI-628 (Ballonti Axis that connects Sestao with Portugalete) and BI-3747 (N-634 - Trapagaran - Urioste). Show details
Directional 127+470. It has no connection. This junction only connects with the A-8. Show details
Directional km 128,700. It connects with BI-628 (Ballonti Axis that connects Santurtzi with Ortuella and N-634). Show details

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