Speeding Across Spain

by Amar A. Chaker, ASCE's Sr. Program Mgr. for Transp.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA.,
Jeffrey S. Falero, P.E., Sr. Engr.; Arup, San Francisco, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 6, Pg. 52-57

Document Type: Feature article


Spain is extending its high-speed rail system�the Alta Velocidad Espa�ola (AVE)�to include a line running from Madrid to Lleida, with stops in Guadalajara and Zaragoza. The line will extend 433 km through difficult terrain, and will cross 26 tunnels and 94 viaducts. Costs will be contained by employing reusable concrete box girder forms for many of the viaducts, but where the environment is difficult or the viaducts are too high, continuous, cast-in-place, posttensioned box superstructures will be used. After each span is cured, a hydraulic system will push the end of the next box section so that it cantilevers out beyond its previous support, continuing incrementally until it reaches the next support point. The tunnels will be constructed using the new Austrian tunnel method (NATM), with geologists measuring the quality of rock before the excavation of each segment begins. The new Madrid-Lleida line is scheduled for completion in 2002.

Subject Headings: Viaducts | Tunnels | Terrain | Superstructures | Rocks | Rail transportation | Quality control | Spain | Europe

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