The San Pedro tunnel takes shape – Always Marbella

By | February 16, 2011

Geoffrey Donoghue of Always Marbella property sales and rentals, reports on the latest news and events. For more information please visit Always Marbella’s website at www.alwaysmarbella.com

Work on the scheme to take the A-7 underground is now 75 per cent complete;L machinery is now digging underground to shape the gallery that will eventually become a double tunnel with four lanes of traffic
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Underground. Diggers are working round the clock to clear the 997 metre long tunnel that will eventually be home to the A-7 through San pedro. JOSELE-LANZA
Work on the new underpass has exposed the core of San Pedro Alcántara, at least, that is, as far Ldown as a depth of six metres, the future route of the A-7 through this part of Marbella. The construction firm with the job of building the tunnel, OHL, has started excavation work to shape the double gallery that will run for a kilometre beneath San Pedro.
The entire project , expected to cost 60 million euros, is already 75 per cent complete, according to sources from the Ministry of Development, who added that this time last week the machinery had already broken through some 120 metres to create the underground gallery.
This amounts to more than ten per cent of the total length of the tunnel although excavation work is currently taking place simultaneously at four different points of along the 997 metres of future tunnel.
The results are clearer at the central excavation points. There the still unpolished support piles resemble the columns of an ancient temple buried under the ground. There are two large rooms with high ceilings and three rows of pillars that stretch for several metres along the underground cavity. The excavation machinery jolts us back to reality, however. They work at a steady rhythm throughout the day and into the night.
In January OHL brought in the night shift so that the tunnel works could continue round the clock. However the rain has meant that work has not been able to progress as fast as the firm would have liked and the night shift has only really been in operation since the middle of March. Ministry sources confirm that the rain “has caused a significant delay because the work has been practically at a standstill for three months”.
It is only now that the project is picking up speed as more labour is being brought in after many of the 100 workmen who were busy on the site at the end of last year had to be laid off during the bad weather.
In theory the delay will not mean that the project will be finished behind schedule and the estimated completion date is still the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011. Instead the pace of the work will be speeded up, both underground and on the surface.
The aim is that in July, when the road surface above the tunnel has been replaced, the road will be reopened to traffic while work continues underground. However the Ministry pointed out that the road will only be open to local traffic while the southern bypass will remain open for vehicles wanting to pass through San Pedro.

source: sur in english newspaper
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