Rabat - Beginning in 2017, Moroccans will be able to cross the largest bridge supporting a high-speed train line in the world.
Rabat – Beginning in 2017, Moroccans will be able to cross the largest bridge supporting a high-speed train line in the world.
The Faisal bridge is located in the Allokos basin between the cities of Tangier and Kenitra and links two high-speed rail tracks (LGV) that are separated by geography.
So far, the 2.3-kilometer bridge has consumed 600 thousand cubic meters of concrete, which is almost three times the volume of concrete used in the Tangier Mediterranean Port (Tangier Med 1) project.
The northern tracks are 78 percent complete and costed approximately 850 million dirhams, according to Hespress.
“Everything in this project meticulously calculated,” says Khaled Khiran, the construction manager for the high-speed rail project. “Here we use precise techniques, materials and good building, to build a bridge at the level of international standards for high-speed train lines.”
Technically, the bridge in the Allokos basin should not exceed 250 meters, but the overseeing engineers decided to extend it to its current length so it would not act as a barrier for existing water systems. Khiran explained that the arches erected under the bridge line were established to produce “a railway less harmful to the environment.”
A total of 12 bridges are being built between Tangier and Kenitra to support the new rail system. The columns that carry the bridges stand 68 meters deep under the ground and the combined length of the columns approaches 115 kilometers.
“These technical installations are performed by Moroccan company,” said Samouni Mohammed, the development manager for LGV. “It is great source of pride for our country to build this great project, especially because we use very sophisticated technology and techniques.”
According to Samouni, the sophisticated techniques at play in the project will help Morocco develop safe infrastructure investments in the future, especially in areas prone to environmental hazards areas, such as floods and earthquakes.
The development manager said the southern portion of the tracks will be completely constructed by June or July of this and the northern tracks will be finished by the end of this year “at most.”
ONCF, Morocco’s rail authority, laid the foundational stone for the LGV project in September 2011. Official estimates project that the new lines will reduce the travel time between Tangier and Casablanca from four hours and 45 minutes on regular trains to two hours and 20 minutes on the high speed trains.
The director-general of the National Office of Railways has said the upgrades with be “the pride of Morocco.”