Protest­ing res­i­dents score tun­nel vic­tory

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News -

THE INI­TIAL works to ex­ca­vate a tun­nel for the AVE high-speed rail­way at Mur­cia city are to start on Novem­ber 15 fol­low­ing months of protests by res­i­dents.

The de­ci­sion was made dur­ing a meet­ing of lo­cal, re­gional and na­tional au­thor­i­ties, with res­i­dents’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives and rail­way en­gi­neers on Tues­day. The works will start in the area clos­est to El Car­men sta­tion so trains can con­tinue to op­er­ate.

The first stretch is 400 me­tres long and is ex­pected to be com­pleted in about three months. How­ever, this will not to stop the con­tro­ver­sial build­ing works of a wall which will di­vide dis­tricts.

Juan Bravo, pres­i­dent of state-run rail­way com­pany ADIF said the wall would be lower so home­own­ers do not feel cut off and bridges will be built to al­low peo­ple to pass between the dis­tricts and reach ameni­ties on ei­ther side of the rail­way.

Pres­i­dent of the res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion Plataforma Pro-Soter­ramiento, Joaquín Con­tr­eras la­belled the meet­ing ‘pos­i­tive’ but said res­i­dents would con­tinue to demon­strate peace­fully.

He said they would only ac­cept a tun­nelled rail­way and stressed that the con­tro­ver­sial tem­po­rary rail­way was a waste of pub­lic money.

The build­ing works of the tem­po­rary rail­way are planned to be fin­ished in March. This is de­signed to op­er­ate un­til the four-kilo­me­tre-long tun­nel – which has not been put out to ten­der yet – is com­pleted.

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