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SPAIN: Work on the long-planned link between the isolated Trambesòs and Trambaix light rail networks in Barcelona is expected to begin in the second week of March, following the award of construction contracts for the first half of the route.

Following a series of feasibility studies, the Ajuntament de Barcelona has been consulting on a planned 3·9 km connection along Avenida Diagonal, which was approved last year by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

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Contracts totalling €46m were awarded at the end of December for construction of the eastern 1·8 km from the Trambesòs network at Plaça de les Gloriès Catalanes as far as Verdaguer. Including intermediate stops at Monumental and Sicília, this would provide connections with metro lines 1, 2, 4 and 5, as well as 15 TMB bus routes.

The works have been split into four sections:

  • Glòries – Canòpia – Gran Vía: Ferrovial Construcción, Construcciones Rubau and COPISA, €8·3m;
  • Gran Via – Lepant: Vias y Construcciones, and CRC Obras y Servicios, €10·1m;
  • Lepant – Nàpols: COPCISA, Sacyr Construcción and Scrinser, €16·7m;
  • Nàpols – Girona: COMSA, FCC Construcción, €10·9m.

Construction is expected to start simultaneously on all four sections, with the work scheduled to take 21 months. Completion is due by late 2023, with the first trams to start running in early 2024.

Photo: Benjámin Zelki

Photo: Benjámin Zelki

According to the municipality, opening of the extension is projected to increase the average ridership on the Trambesòs network by 58% from the current 31 400 passengers/day to around 49 700.

No timetable has yet been announced for building the western half of the link from Verdaguer to the Trambaix terminus at Plaça Francesc Macià.