Barcelona Metro – Line 9

Line 9 of Barcelona metro system, currently under construction, was awarded in four sections. Ferrovial Agroman SA, in JV, was awarded three of these: I, III and IV. We were responsible for the construction of the tunnels and stations on each and for section IV we were also appointed to carry out the full design.

Sections I and III

For sections I and III we worked closely with the client’s team during the detailed design stage to ensure improved constructability and to reduce where possible the overall cost and programme.

Crossing the city of Barcelona, this will be the longest line in Europe, approximately 50km long with 52 stations and is set to transport 90m passengers a year. Its aim is to reduce overcrowding in the Barcelona tube system with more connections and make for a better passenger experience.

The construction of Line 9 is complicated, located below heavily populated areas of the city with a high density of buildings.

The line is unique in terms of the topography, due to the depth and large diameter of the tunnels along with the vertical cylindrical design of the stations. Some stretches have been designed to carry two train lines one above the other.

The tunnels are being built using tunnel boring machines (TBMs) with diameters of 12m and 9.40m (three and two respectively). The majority of each station will be built underground with just lifts and stairs projecting up to street level to reduce work on the surface and expropriations.

Early contractor input:

For section IV, our JV was involved very early in the project so that we were able to deliver the full design in line with client, community and stakeholder demands.

Significant challenges were presented here; the deep tunnel was to run through different materials from hard rock to soft alluvial ground with the added presence of water due to the proximity of the sea and the Llobregat river. The surface works were being executed in a dense urban environment. Our integrated team developed a design and construction solution that met all of the client’s requirements including programme and budget constraints.