MARKING the start of high speed construction between Barcelona and the French border, Spanish Development Minister Francisco Álvarez-Cascos visited works between Sils and Riudellots on March 9, where Sacyr and Scrinser are executing a €24·1m contract to build 7·3 km of alignment within 19 months.

Elsewhere between Barcelona and Girona, contracts have been awarded for the 9·6 km between La Roca and Llinars where civil works are costing €44m, the 7·5 km Sant Celoni - Riells section (k38m) and the 9 km from Riells to Massanes (k34·5m).

On March 12 the Spanish cabinet gave its approval for a further three sections to go out to tender. Work on the 4·8 km between Llinars and Sant Celoni is expected to take 22 months within a budget of €55·3m, while 21 months has been set as the timescale for the 5·2 km Massanes - Maçanet section that has a budget of €44·6m.

The 5·7 km Maçanet - Sils section is expected to take 20 months to complete within a budget of €36·5m. Of the 94·9 km of high speed line between Barcelona and Girona, contracts for 49·1 km have now been awarded or put out to tender.