With so many rumours, justifications and objections, Project Express Morzine-Avoriaz has certainly kept us busy over the last few years. Today the Mairie de Morzine Avoriaz released an entirely updated document to demonstrate the final plan for EMA and we’ve done our very best to translate it and present it below. Many questions are still unanswered and opposition group ADHMA are likely to have strong opinions on this proposal. We’ll keep this post updated as new information is released so keep checking back.
The Current Situation
Pleney, Nyon, Les Gets and Avoriaz ski areas are currently linked by the existing Prodains Express cable car, and via the lift network of the Super Morzine
Road access between Morzine and Avoriaz also exists with busses and cars
Via the Super Morzine link, the journey between Morzine and Avoriaz takes 50 minutes
Project EMA allows a substantial time saving, connecting the two domains in 15 minutes during both the winter and summer seasons
The EMA journey will also be more comfortable and includes a direct link for all members of the public
Currently, there is lots of traffic congestion on the Avenue de Joux Plane in Morzine
The bus network is saturated
Public space is poorly shared
The Super Morzine link runs at capacity
The route de Avoriaz is dangerous in bad weather
By road, the journey between Morzine and Avoriaz is 50 minutes
The Different Options Studied
Many options have been studied and considered unsuccessful for various reasons, including:
- Departure station too far from existing cableways (routes A and B)
- Sites are too constrained or have too limited rights of way for the construction of car parking (routes C, D and E)
- Overflight constraints with many buildings requiring deconstruction (routes C, D and E)
- Impact on the Natura 2000 ecological area (routes D and E)
- Overflight of historic buildings including the church (route D)
- Ski binding routes (routes A, B and C)
These unsuccessful scenarios do not integrate into the logical circulation of the village and do not allow for the construction of new public spaces.
The route of the new Express Morzine Avoriaz lift has been chosen for the following reasons:
- The minimum number of pylons are required and none are in the village centre
- There is limited noise pollution
- A minimum amount of forest clearing is required
- There’s a lower maintenance cost on the 3S lift type
- The 3S has a longer life span than on a telecabine type lift
- The location of the departure station allows good connections
- There is a low carbon footprint compared to a gondola type lift
In the future Morzine and Avoriaz will just be 15 minutes from each other. The future lift will connect to the existing Prodains Express 3S lift completed in 2013. This existing lift has been planned to be compatible with future linking.
Integrated Layout & Powerful Technology
The 3S lift type has been chosen for various reasons:
- It has a low environmental footprint
- It has reduced energy and maintenance costs
- It is powerful and resistant to extreme weather conditions
- It has a high capacity and flies high over a long range
- It is comfortable with wind stability, large door openings and a large cabin
- Security is enhanced – there’s integrated evacuation in case on incidents
(When combining the two sections together)
- 5,422m horizontal length
- 798m altitude difference
- 15 minutes journey time
- 4 pylons in the first section, 2 in the existing section
- 28 cabins in the first section, 14 cabins in the existing section
- Between 7 and 8.5 metres per second speed
The route has been confirmed after several preliminary studies including plot scenarios, geotechnical works, natural risk assessments, environmental impact, acoustic studies, traffic impact studies and fire safety.
Arrival & Departure Stations
The departure station will be buried under the roundabout of La Cruzas, the site of the current Odlo shop
This allows excellent connection and for the related equipment to be used
There will be an interesting urban integration with its central position and the visual impact is reduced
The site of the departure station limits overflight constraints and reduces the impact of noise pollution
The arrival station will be at the rear of the existing Prodains Express station
Disembarking will be at the same level as the existing lift station
The two lift as independent of each other – there are significant constrains in having one continuous cable
The distance between the arrival of EMA and the departure of the Prodains Express is 20 metres or 55 seconds in journey time
This also allows for easier operation in the event of a technical incident or bad weather
The location of the departure station in Morzine allows for improved onward travel for pedestrians.
There will be an underground pedestrian tunnel link to effectively connect the new EMA departure station with the existing Pleney lift station
A new bus station and car park will be located under the departure station in the area known as La Plagne.
The new underground tunnel has a capacity of 1500 people per hour and a total travel time of 7 mins, 52 seconds.
The total length of the moving carpet inside the tunnel will be 315m in the first section and 172m in the second section.
The new cable car is part of a desire to improve soft mobility between the resorts as an alternative to vehicle traffic
Express Morzine Avoriaz and the new tunnel will make urban transport more efficient
The regional bus service will stay connected to the new lift system
EMA will also improve the commute of seasonal workers, ski instructors and employees of the local lift operators who must travel each day between the two resorts
The positive impact on mobility and the environment:
- 30% reduction in the total number of shuttle busses
- 40% reduction in the number of vehicles in the Ardoisieres valley
- Limit of access to the road to Avoriaz
- Removes the need for shuttle busses to run down the Rue du Bourg
- 80% reduction in the number of busses on the Avenue de Joux Plane
Morzine and Avoriaz must reinvent themselves in the face of higher competition from other mountain resorts through innovation and modernisation of the infrastructure.
The challenge is to offer an optimised ski offer and easier movement between the two areas of Pleney / Les Gets / Nyon and Avoriaz and to enhance the access to the Portes du Soleil.
EMA will bring all resorts of the Portes du Soleil closer together, saving time, improving comfort and offering a better visitor experience, summer and winter.
During Winter 16/17, the French ski market lost visitors to Austrian ski resorts.
The habits of skiers to multiply the number of holiday activities they enjoy extends to apres ski. EMA makes it easier to access the two resorts, their shops, restaurants, bars and events.
Information meetings were held in August and September for residents affected by the overflight and the installation of the departure and arrival stations.
A public consultation will take place from December 18 to February 19 – all information and consultation methods will be implimented.
The public will be invited to speak directly online or in the Mairie.
A public investigation begins Autumn 19.
A financing plan is in the process of being finalised.
The search for a project management assistant ins in progress.