The high-speed railway line will join the three Basque capitals, and is taking care of the building of one of its latest and most complex sections: the Mondragón - Elorrio - Bergara section, also known as the “Bergara link”. There are only 15 km, but it entails a strategic point on this large-scale railway project worth €4.8 billion, and it is here where the three lines connect.
The Bergara link has been divided into three sectors, with Ayesa having being awarded the supervision contract for the building of sector 1.
With 5.1 km, this section includes the building of two one-way tunnels measuring 2.3 km each -Udalaitz East and Udalaitz West-, as well as a two-way tunnel (Kortazar, measuring 1.6 km); the Arantostei viaduct (20 metres) and the Angiozar artificial tunnel (200 metres). The result will be a section with two one-way branches and another two-way branch, whose cost will be €134 million.
Francisco Ayala, head of the Ayesa Works Supervision Section, highlights in relation to the project “the complexity of the territory, as we will be building three interlinking tunnels at various levels. What’s more, in the exit zone we have to carry out geotechnical treatment of the slopes” He also highlights that “this railway engineering bid is the largest in recent years, so for Ayesa, it was a strategic goal to win this contract”.
For the first time, Ayesa has solely concentrated on this bid, without the need to participate in joint ventures, thanks to the experience gained in recent years in similar large contracts.
“ This feature was one of the reasons for which only 20 companies could submit bids. It was a highly restrictive set of specifications in relation to solvency”, Ayala added.
“In Spain we have made a great deal of large tunnels, and for Adif we took part in two in Levante and Barcelona, which are now operational”. At an international level, the largest most ambitious project is the Quito Metro, where four tunnelling machines are in operation at the same time.