FCC begins construction of the AVE viaduct over the Almonte River

This 996-metre-long viaduct will set a new standard in Spain

FCC has begun building the AVE -high-speed railway- viaduct over the Almonte River. The viaduct is located in the 6.3-kilometre-long Alcántara Reservoir/Garrovillas subsection, part of the Talayuela/Cáceres section of the high-speed line from Madrid to Extremadura to the Portuguese border.

The central government's deputy in Extremadura, Carmen Pereira Santana, Fomento's director from Extremadura, José Luis Quintana Álvarez, and ADIF Chairman Antonio González Marín, accompanied by FCC Construcción's Chairman José Mayor Oreja and Alejandro Cisneros Müller, the company's manager of Zone IX, witnessed the beginning of construction on the railway bed on 17 March.

The viaduct is designed to be 996 metres long with a 384-metre central arch span. When finished, it will hold the world record for span length in its arch type for high-speed rail use, beating Dashegguan Bridge in China, which is 336 metres long. Also, in the non-high-speed rail viaduct category, it will be more than 100 metres longer than the bridge over Froschgrund Lake in Germany, on the Nuremberg-Erfurt line, which is also made of concrete and is 270 metres long.

In Spain the closest thing it can be compared to is Contreras Viaduct in the provinces of Cuenca and Valencia, one of the landmarks of Spanish civil engineering, which has a concrete railway arch with a span of 261 metres.

Another three viaducts have been designed for the same subsection as well, one (341 metres long) over Santa Ana Creek and another two (each 431 metres long) over Villaluengo Creek and Cagancha Creek. At the spot where the line crosses the Vía de la Plata Roman road, a 160-metre-long artificial tunnel has been planned, in coordination with the Extremadura Council's Directorate-General of the Cultural Heritage.

The construction of the bed for the Navalmoral de la Mata/Cáceres/Mérida section will be cofinanced by the ERDF.

In late September 2010, the Spanish Ministry of Development, acting through ADIF, awarded the contract to build the section in Cáceres between Alcántara Reservoir and Garrovillas (worth 96.5 million euro) to a company organised by the FCC Group and the Portuguese firm Conduril. The project covers all the work necessary to build the infrastructure, such as earthworks, drainage work, tunnels, structures, shifting of easements and relocation of affected services, including cross-connections to ensure the line's permeability to roads.


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