Thousands of people took part in the “Journée Portes Ouvertes” (Open Day) organised on Saturday, October 16 around Paris for the Grand Paris Express to show with the utmost transparency the progress of the work being done on the biggest sustainable mobility project in Europe. Organized by Société du Grand Paris, the client, the programme included visits to four work sites of Lot 2 of the future Line 16 being developed by Webuild and its French partner.
The visionary project will connect the municipalities of Île-de-France, the region surrounding Paris. By adding 200 km of metro and rail lines and building 68 stations, it will integrate even the remotest of towns with the urban centre.
On Lot 2 of Line 16, Webuild and Nouvelles Générations d’Entrepreneurs (NGE) are excavating 11 km of tunnels and building four stations between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Chelles. They have nearly completed work on another part of the project - Lot 4 of Line 14 South - a 4.1 km tunnel that extends from an existing line to reduce travel times between the Paris centre and the Orly Airport. The combination of these 2 lots will take 385,000 vehicles off the streets every day, reduce the emission of 81,000 t of CO2 a year and contribute to the goal of the French capital to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The Open Day gave city residents the chance to appreciate the complexity of the project. On Lot 2 of Line 16, the excavations are being done by two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs). The first one, Houda, departed from Aulnay-sous-Bois in the autumn of 2020, while the second, Mireille, began its journey from the opposite end at Chelles in April 2021. The two TBMs will meet at the middle of the future tunnel at Sevran where they will be dismantled, and subsequently used elsewhere. A particularly distinguishing feature of this section are the materials such as the fibre reinforced concrete used to make the slabs that line the tunnel walls – a first time in France.
Webuild is among the first builders in the world to bring transparency to its construction sites. The number of webcams it has at its work sites will rise to 16 from eight in the coming months to allow the public to follow in real time its work along the Terzo Valico dei Giovi and Genoa Juncture, the Line 4 metro line in Milan, and a section of the railway between Palermo and Catania. The approach is the same as that one deployed for the construction of the Genoa San Giorgio Bridge, together with the Spazio Ponte exhibit at the Porto Antico district of Genoa during the construction of the project.
With a track record of more than 13,600 km of rail and metro lines built in the past 115 years, Webuild is among the global leaders of sustainable mobility with projects designed to reduce traffic and air pollution in big cities. Today, it is involved in the construction of metro lines in Rome, Milan, Naples, Peru, Greece, and Saudi Arabia, along with light rail in Sweden, Canada and Australia.
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