The Erjos Tunnel is 80% Complete

The Erjos Tunnel

Source: Tenerife Weekly

The construction of the Santiago del Teide-The tank of the Island Ring increases its budget by 15 million for the price review and exceeds 256of which the Canarian Government has already paid 104.7 million. The works are at 80% in the opening of the Erjos tunnel and the highway is at 45%a road that will have two lanes in each direction with the upcoming approval of the second modification of the project. The deadline to complete the work is extended by half a year, until March 2025.

This 11.3 kilometer long section includes the longest tunnel in Canary Islands and one of the longest in the country, with 5.1 kilometers. The joint venture formed by FCC Construcción, Syocsa-Inarsa and El Silbo employs 102 workers directly and 204 in its construction, having so far excavated 3,860 meters of the right or main tube and 3,645 meters of the left from the South, as well as another kilometer for the North. The daily progress of excavation in each tunnel ranges between 15 and 20 meters.

This infrastructure, designed for its possible future expansion to a third lane, makes it possible to save the Teno massif. The works are carried out simultaneously in the four mouths without interruption in a triple work shift. To do this, they use a robot that opens 105 holes in which they place the explosives used in the computer-controlled demolition. A siding is set up for every kilometer of the route and every 250 meters there is a gallery that connects both tunnels to act in the event of an evacuation.

Environmental measures require 18 of the 256 million of the cost of the work from this road, which has two nurseries located in both regions of the Island. “In the face of words and stories, we show actions and data,” he said. Angel Victor Torres president of the Government of the Canary Islands who recalled that this is the most important public work awarded in the country in 2019. On November 11 of that year “we signed the contract in extremis for this work to begin, because there was only one month left until the Declaration of Environmental impact”.

Torres said he was satisfied with the progress of the work and stressed the importance of having resolved the conflict over the Highway Agreement with the State. “This supposes 1,600 million of work in execution or to execute”. Of the 16 projects for Tenerife “13 are running or committed.” All this was stated during the visit made this Friday to the Erjos tunnel. In this context, the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, stressed that this work “marks a before and after in communications between the north and south of the Island.”

He assured that this year “the start” of the works from Icod de los Vinos to San Juan de la Rambla -also from the Insular Ring- and the section of the TF-5 that runs between Guamasa and the lower part of La Laguna, will be published. “they have already approved the environmental impact statement”.

The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing of the Government of the Canary Islands, Sebastián Franquis, explained that “with this visit, we wanted to show that a picture is worth a thousand words and I think that what we have seen here today allows us to verify the dimension of such a important as the one we are carrying out between Santiago del Teide and El Tanque”. Emilio Navarro, mayor of Santiago del Teide, claimed the Island Ring for the benefits it has brought to the municipality because the southern section “has made us more competitive” as a tourist destination, something that is reflected “in the employment and economic dynamism that we have achieved”. He is convinced that the new section “solves mobility on the Island, improves sustainability and family reconciliation”. He announced that “we are already working to anticipate the change in the economic model that this will mean for Santiago of the Teide”.

The Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana, stressed that this work reflects “that the Government of Spain complies” with the Highway agreement and advocated “having this work operational as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, Ignacio Ferraro, manager of the joint venture that is carrying out the work, stressed that “we are less than a kilometer away from finding the north mouth of the tunnel, what could be produced in five months”. This way, in which speed will be limited to 80 kilometers per hour, substantial improvement in safety and halves the current travel time between the TF-1 and the TF-5. The work includes two links in the urban areas of El Tanque and Santiago del Teide, three false double tunnels, three viaducts, two overpasses, three underpasses, 21 drainage works and eight channeling of existing channels.