AVE contract awarded after four-year lull

SPANISH multinational Sacyr will build 12.5 kilometres of high-speed AVE track between Pulpi and Cuevas del Almanzora.

Spain’s track operator ADIF accepted Sacyr’s €33 million bid for the €71 million contract, revealed Gabriel Amat, president of the Almeria Diputacion, the provincial government. The announcement came surprisingly early, since the 34 sealed bids were opened only two weeks earlier. A decision was not expected until the end of the year and cynics have already claimed that the haste was influenced by this winter’s general elections.  

No starting date has been mentioned for the 24-month project, which is co-financed by the FEDER European development fund. The ADIF decision comes after a four-year halt in the province’s AVE project and was announced during the Diputacion’s last plenary meeting.  

The 12.5 kilometres between Pulpi and Cuevas includes three viaducts over the Canalejas, Guazamara and Las Gachas watercourses as well as an underpass beneath the A-1205 and an A-1205 overpass. A 180-metre cutting will become a false tunnel to enable the safe passage of wildlife.

As well as satisfaction from the business community there was scepticism from 

the PSOE’s provincial secretary general, Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel.  Undercutting the tender by more 50 per cent was either risky or suspicious, he claimed.

“Or the quality is not going to be very good or there will be a trick in it somewhere,” Sanchez Teruel warned.

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