ADIF STUDIES WHETHER IT SHOULD PROTECT LA PEDRERA FROM THE AVE EXCAVATION
The unusual building of the Sagrada Família is the most compromised point on the route of the tunnel boring machine which opens up the AVE tunnel through the centre of Barcelona. But not the only one. Another modernist jewel, in this case made entirely by Antoni Gaudí, awaits the mechanical mole in the heart of the Paseo de Grŕcia. The machine has already excavated 252 metres under Mallorca Street, between Biscaďa and Trinxant, and after a 15 day technical delay, will cross Meridiana in its route towards Sants. The AVE project does not include any special activities in La Pedrera, but a series of new geological probes have been completed around it. The infrastructure manager, Adif, confirms that the samples have given “results similar to those already obtained”. However, a working group has been created with the Universitat Politčcnica de Catalunya and the engineering company Intemac to «evaluate whether additional work is necessary or redundant».
The Adif engineers insist that this procedure is normal as the tunnelling machines advance, “new actions to constantly test the land and everything that rests upon it are always undertaken”. The constructive singularity of la Pedrera, its weight, the materials or the innovative and daring architecture used by Gaudí reinforces the necessity of this continual evaluation.
Nothing has been decided, but with the information and the experience accumulated over the last few months from the building work under way, the experts are once again studying this second tunnel hot spot, in case it should prove necessary to take action below ground. The working group of Adif, UPC and Intemac, according to specialists in subterranean building who work on the extension of the metro, will have upon the table the possibility of consolidating the subsoil with diverse concrete injection techniques or by creating some type of stilt structure.
THE SAGRADA FAMÍLIA / Next to the Sagrada Família, the construction of the vast subterranean protection screen of 240 metres length and 41 metres deep is coming to an end. Some 85 of the 104 columns of two metres diameter in the mountain-side of Mallorca from before Sardenya and through to Marina have now been built, which will separate the tunnel from the foundations of the Gloria facade.
In the 43 days that the tunnel boring machine has been in operation since the 26th of March when it began its journey, according to those in charge at Adif, the ground at Mallorca has not even moved. The prediction in the centre of the street (10 metres from the buildings) was that the solid ground would cede 19 millimetres in the area of Trinxant and 45 in that of Biscaďa. In reality, the figures have been 0,3 and 0,2 millimetres, respectively, and no movement at facade level.
This was part of what the director of the line, Rafael Rodriguez, explained yesterday in la Sagrera to a handful, barely a dozen, representatives of neighbourhood associations in the area called by Adif and the Town Council to a visit to the tunnel. The Mayor, Jordi Hereu, accompanied by three district councillors and one deputy mayor, and the President of Adif, Antonio González, insisted before an auditorium of authorities and journalists, on “a commitment to transparency and safety”. The visit did not include the presence of either the municipal opposition, against the route, or the AVE pel Litoral group