ONE of Spain’s most complex rail engineering projects was formally green lit at an onsite signing ceremony in Valencia City on Monday.
The train line running from the south of the city to Giorgeta bridge will be moved underground, allowing a ‘divided’ part of Valencia to be reunited.
There have been calls for a tunnel since 2003 and over €440 million has been budgeted for the work.
Half of the money will come from the Transport Ministry with the remainder split between Valencia City Council and the Valencian government.
The project will be undertaken in nine phases over five years, without causing disruption to train services.
Angel Contreras from rail line operator, Adif, said: “This is the most complex project that we have ever carried out in Spain”.
Three tunnels will be constructed including one to collect waste water, and two for train services some 25 metres underground.
One of the most obvious changes will be the eventual removal of the bridge which connects Avenida Giorgeta with Avenida de Peris y Valero.
Spain’s Transport Minister, Raquel Sanchez, said the work would lead to an ‘urban metamorphosis’ for Valencia, while mayor Joan Ribo said the changes would ‘unite’ the southern city districts after being split for 170 years by rail tracks.
Topography work and soil clearing will be the first sign of site activity with an early priority being the laying down of new AVE high speed rail tracks to take services away from the tunnel construction area.