On Saturday, 7 May, Antonio Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister, opened the section of the A-4 highway between Amarante and Vila Real. This is the last section of the A-4 highway that links Oporto with Bragança and accesses Spain through the province of Zamora.
The opening ceremony, which was presided by the Prime Minister, was attended by José Socrates, ex-Prime Minister; Pedro Marques, Minister of Planning and Infrastructures of Portugal, accompanied by Guilherme d'Oliveira Martins, Secretary of State for Infrastructures, and Antonio Ramalho, President of Infrastructures of Portugal (IP), along with the mayors of the city councils of Amarante y Vila Real. The Director of Civil Engineering of Spain and Portugal, Juan Lozano; the Director of Portugal, Juan Manuel Sanchez; the General Manager of Portugal, Alejandro Soliño; the Project Manager, Marco Aguiar; the Commercial and Recruitment Manager in Portugal, José Paixão attended on behalf of Ferrovial Agroman, along with the work team that accomplished this achievement. This last section of the Highway was divided into three sub-sections for construction (Amarante-Tunel, Tunel de Marao and Tunel-Parada de Cunhos), which were carried out by different companies. The consortium led by Ferrovial Agroman was awarded the project at the end of 2014. This included the section between Tunel de Marão and the Parada de Cunhos link, with a budget of 28.8 M€, and a length of 9.9 km. in which 2 links have been done, in a record time of 15 months. With these works, it is now possible to avoid crossing the Alto de Marão. The time between the towns of Amarante y Vila Real has been improved by 50% (now via the highway section). The traveling time between Oporto and Bragança has also been reduced by 20%. In his speech, the Prime Minister commented that this has been the most important infrastructure of the country since it was opened 50 years ago, from the Bridge over the river Tajo in Lisbon (Ponte 25 de Abril). This is because it overcomes the natural barrier that divides the interior area of the country (called Tras-os-Montes) with the coastal area, opening a range of opportunities for the region. The work team, reporting to Juan Manuel Sánchez and Alejandro Soliño, was formed by (from left to right): Paulo Sousa, Surveyor; Paulo Coelho, Head of On-Site Safety; Marco Aguiar, Project Manager; Justo Barbero, Earth Production and Paving Manager; Rui Costa, Site Manager; Elio Gualdino, Project Administrative Assistant, and Manuel Cunha, Structures Manager.