WITH A BID OF 3·38bn pesos, on January 23 a consortium of Iecsa, Odebrecht, Comsa and Ghella was named as the preferred bidder for the first phase of a project to place underground the 32·6 km section between Caballito and Moreno of the Sarmiento commuter route in Buenos Aires.

The first phase covers the 9·2 km between Caballito and Ciudadela with four intermediate stations, where an 11 m diameter tunnel capable of accommodating double-deck rolling stock is to be dug using a TBM at depth of 10 m below the surface. Contract signature was expected within 70 days, with the work itself due to take 36 months to complete.

The second phase from Ciudadela and Castelar comprises 9·4 km of tunnel, with 14·1 km to be dug under the third and final phase to Moreno. The project also includes the construction of a new rolling stock maintenance facility at Francisco Alvarez to replace the existing depot at Liniers.