Spain’s Public Works Minister, Íñigo de la Serna, said the ministry will launch “before the summer” a record 2.717 billion euros investment programme for AVE high-speed train and roads.
It will put out to tender works on AVE lines for a total of 1.850 billion euros, an amount which is already higher than the total invested in this type of train in 2017.
In parallel, it will put out to tender in May the first two contracts related to the extraordinary plan for works on Spanish roads for an investment of 867 million euros. Although this is financed by private capital, it exceeds the annual public investment in this kind of infrastructure.
The Public Works Ministry has announced this flood of new contracts after investment in public works has been at record lows for many years in a row.
In the case of the AVE, the lion’s share of the new projects corresponds to the building of the AVE connection with Almeria. This is divided into seven stretches of railroad which will be put out to tender almost at the same time. In addition, there are the underground works in Murcia, de la Serna said. He was speaking at the Desayunos Informativos organised by local news agency Europa Press.
Along with the launch of construction on these new stretches there is also the fact, “almost unheard of” in the country, that in 2018 six new stretches of the AVE will be completed or operational.
There is the connection with Granada, the Vandellós-Tarragona stretch and the link between the Atocha and Chamartín stations in Madrid. All of these are currently being tested, as well as the access for the AVE to Murcia and Burgos, and the stretch between Zamora and Pedralba de la Pradería, where the construction work is currently being completed.
The First Concessional Contracts In Years
The projects in the extraordinary roads plan include the contract for the North-South Axis in Murcia, a 32.8 kilometre long road, and the 72.8 kilometre stretch of the Mediterranean Motorway between Crevillente (Alicante) and Alhama (Murcia).
So the contracts for these two new stretches of road will be the first concessional projects, that is, taken on in conjunction with private capital, put out to tender in Spain in at least a decade, since before the crisis.
Other projects included in the programme will be put out to tender in the coming months, given that the Ministry plans to tender works for a total of 2 billion euros over the year.