Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The Erjos tunnel, the longest there will be in the Canary Islands with 5.1 kilometers in length, is 80% completed, as highlighted by the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, during a visit to the works of the section of the insular ring of Tenerife between Santiago del Teide and El Tanque.
Accompanied by the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, the Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquis, and the mayors of the region, Torres stressed that 4 kilometers of the tunnel have already been created, 3 in a south-north direction and another on the contrary.
The Minister Sebastián Franquis has advanced during the visit that his department is studying a modification to approve it in the short term so that the tunnel has two lanes in both directions, and thus comply with what the Tenerife Island Planning Plan (PIOT) says. He calculates that the works finish in March 2025.
This work, in which more than 104 million euros have been invested in the 38 months that it has been carried out, is the most important in terms of investment of all those that the Government of the Canary Islands has underway.
To date, the Ministry of Public Works has paid work certificates worth 104.7 million, 45% of the initial budget for the entire work.
The Erjos tunnel was awarded in 2019 for 241 million euros, although the price updates applied to the works have led to an increase in the budget to the current 256 million.
Of this global budget, 18 million are dedicated to environmental actions in the area, details the Government of the Canary Islands in a statement.
Ángel Víctor Torres has stressed that “a few months” after reaching the Government, specifically on November 11, 2019, the contract was signed “in extremis” for this work to begin because there was only one month left for the Impact Statement to expire Environmental (DIA).
Since then, the Canarian president has assessed, the work has been carried out without paralysis despite being one of the most economically valuable on the islands “and one of the most relevant in the country.”
Torres has been satisfied with the pace of the work and has also stressed the importance of having resolved the conflict over the road agreement with the State “after disputes and lawsuits because we sat at a table and negotiated it with the Government of Spain” .
This supposes, it has abounded, 1,600 million of work in execution or to be executed, and “in addition, we managed to use the surplus (another 500 million) for current spending, for dependency, health, education or what the Government believes necessary”, has added.
Ángel Víctor Torres highlighted that of the 16 road projects committed to in the agreement for Tenerife, a total of 13 are already underway or committed, with the recent approval of the environmental impact statement for the section of the island ring between Icod de los Vinos and San Juan de la Rambla, as well as for the variant of La Laguna.
“Faced with words and stories, we show actions and data, and that is what citizens want: governments that solve problems, and many of us have solved them, such as that highway agreement and this work on the largest tunnel on the islands,” he said. insisted.
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, has assured that “this work marks a before and after in the communications of the north and south of the island.”
It has also announced that in 2023 the start of two other works will be published that will mean “a transcendental change on the roads” and will help solve the traffic problem on the TF-5, such as those from Icod de los Vinos to San Juan de la Rambla and the section of the TF-5 that goes from Guamasa to the lower part of La Laguna, for which the environmental impact statement has already been approved.
Sebastián Franquis has commented that «with this visit, what we wanted is to show that an image is worth a thousand words, and I think that the image that we have seen here today can verify the dimension of a work as important as the one we are carrying between Santiago del Teide and El Tanque».
The new section, which when finished will join the rest of the TF-5, is 11.3 kilometers long and includes the Erjos double tunnel, which allows crossing the Teno massif.
To expedite its excavation, drilling is being carried out simultaneously in the 4 mouths without interruption in a triple work shift until its completion. Drilling is done mainly by blasting and, if the terrain makes it necessary, by mechanical means.
Up to now, 80% of the tunnel has been excavated in advance, corresponding to 3,860 meters for the right tube and 3,645 meters for the left tube, with just over two kilometers remaining between the two tubes. The daily excavation advance in each tunnel is 15-20 meters.
With these data and this level of work, it is expected that between July and August of this year both tunnel tubes will be laid.
This work directly employs 102 workers between operators and specialized personnel, who work in three eight-hour shifts, seven days a week, details the Government of the Canary Islands in the note. EFE