SPANISH INFRASTRUCTURE authority ADIF has awarded the last outstanding civil works contract for the high speed line between Madrid and the French border, covering the 5·64 km underground section between Sants and Sagrera stations in Barcelona (RG 7.07 p405).

Under a contract worth €179·3m, work is to be completed by a joint venture of Sacyr, Cavosa and Scrinser within 35 months. Running entirely beneath city streets, 4·82 km of the route is to be excavated using an 11·4 m diameter earth pressure balance TBM. Special measures will be taken to protect the foundations of Gaudí's Sagrada Familia. The contract also includes tracklaying.

On the Y-shaped network that will connect Bilbao, San Sebastián and Vitoria, ADIF has awarded a €49·4m contract for civil works between Galdakao and Basauri, including a 438 m viaduct over the Nervión and a 2·79 km tunnel. Work on the Arrazua/Ubarrundia - Legutiano section is to be completed within 20 months under a contract worth €22·1m.

Responsible for construction of the branch to San Sebastián, the Basque regional government has awarded FCC, Olabarri, Guihor and Donosti a €50·4m contract covering civil works on the 2·86 km between Ordizia and Itsasondo. Work on this section, with 2·81 km in tunnel, is due to be completed within ?27 months.

During the summit held in Paris on January 10, the Spanish and French governments agreed to form a joint commission to oversee construction and operation of the planned connection between San Sebastián and the French high speed network via Irún.