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FCC lands 251 million euro contract for high-speed rail line to Almeria

02/02/2009

FCC lands 251 million euro contract for high-speed rail line to Almeria

The Board of Directors of ADIF today granted FCC, in joint venture with Sando (FCC has two-thirds, Sando one-third), the contract to build the Sorbas-Barranco de los Gafarillos section of the Mediterranean high-speed railway line, in the province of Almería, for 251 million euro.

The 7.6-km. section of line runs north-south, commencing at the town of La Herrería and ending just before the Gafarillos valley.

It will accommodate two high-speed international gauge tracks, with the possibility of hybrid traffic, and includes construction of two parallel tunnels. At the north entrance, the first 20 metres will be dug conventionally, and the tunnels will be lined with prefabricated voussoirs installed using a tunnel-boring machine (TBM). From that point, two tunnels, measuring 5.8 and 5.9 kilometres, will be dug using a 10.5-metre diameter earth-pressure balancing (EPB) TBM. The tunnels will be lined with 1.5 metre rings (50 cm thick) of prefabricated concrete voussoirs reinforced with polypropylene fibre.

From the south entrance, two tunnels, measuring 1.5 and 1.4 km., will be dug using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM), i.e. sequential excavation using blasting and mechanical methods. The tunnels will be lined with a 35 cm layer of shotcrete or a 50 cm layer of reinforced concrete. A total of 15 connection galleries will be built between the two tunnels.

In each tunnel, a gallery with an inner cross-sectional area of 156 m2 and measuring 40 m in length will be dug by conventional means, and they will be accessed from the southern entrance via the conventional tunnel. Gantry cranes will be installed in the galleries in order to disassemble the TBMs.

Two cut-and-cover tunnels will also be built, measuring 85 and 17 metres in length, with a cross-sectional area of 84 m2.

The first 80% of the tunnels' length will run through soft rock and soil, and the remaining 20% through gypsiferous rock containing some anhydrites.

The project includes the necessary support work such as earth movement, drainage, auscultation, restoration of the affected services and easements, provisional measures and supplementary geotechnical surveys.