In 1963, Shell bought land in Cressier (NE) and, in 1964, began to build a large refinery there that was put into operation in 1966. A Category 3 national road had already been planned in the Cressier area within the scope of the national-road project 1954-1959. The prospect of an easily accessible location boosted the influx of industrial activities into the formerly agricultural area between Lake Bienne and Lake Neuchâtel.

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