I took a drive on Saturday on the Mazarron to Cartagena segment of the new motorway so can confirm that it IS open! As I expected, the road is beautifully engireered and travels through some very attractive countryside. There is one relatively short tunnel on this segment of the route. Good news for Mazarron residents is that the entrance onto the new motorway from there is in process of being amended by the provision of a roundabout just before the tollbooths, thus avoiding the necessity for traffic coming off the Mazarron to Totana motorway to proceed an additional 1.8 Km into Mazarron to go around the roundabout there in order to gain access to the motorway - a sensible move!
The main interchange at the Cartagena end of the extension is not yet completed (certain of the flyovers are not yet in place), but there is temporary access there in both directions from the existing AP-7 coming down from Alicante and passing by Murcia-San Javier airport. I estimate that the new route shaves slightly in excess of 20 minutes (or about one third) off the travel time from the airport to Mazarron - a very welcome thing. The cost of using the new motorway over this segment is 4.75 Euros in either direction, but I think it is well worthwhile because of the pleasure of driving on the new road, as against the relative congestion and complication of using the existing route via Fuente Alamo/Cuevas de Reillo/Las Canovas. The cost of travelling the whole route from Cartagena to Vera is, at the time of writing, fixed at 11.50 Euros. However there are no petrol stations or other facilities on the new motorway, so people using it need to bear this in mind, specially those going further along it to Vera - obviously one may leave the motorway at various points along the route if refuelling is required, but this will add a modest premium to the toll fee quite apart from adding to the journey time. I plan to do the Mazarron to Vera segment during the course of next week - I imagine the new road passes through some attractive scenery there as well.
The images whcih follow are of an information sheet which was being handed out to users at the toll booths during my trip yesterday:
AP-7 Toll Motorway - Extension from Cartagena to Vera
- opened on 30MAR07
The route showing junction numbers
The tariff for using the new section
Click here to see larger images.
This is an update of my earllier posts on 30 March 2007 and 8 February 2007.
UPDATE: (Sunday 08APR07 15.05 RST) For detailed instructions to access the new road at the Cartagena end when coming from Murcia-San Javier Airport please click here. The instructions are based on someone leaving the new motorway extension at Mazarron (Junction 845) and heading for Mazarron Country Club, but if you are continuing along it to Aguilas or Vera simply ignore the final part and continue on to your destination. For a slight variation on this route, but using a toll-free route that is only 10 minutes longer, click here.