A €164.9 million contract for the second tunnel package of the Paris metro line 14 extension project has gone to a consortium consisting of Bouygues Travaux Publics (lead company and a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction), Soletanche Bachy France, Soletanche Bachy Tunnels and CSM Bessac.

The contract is with RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) – the French state-owned public transport operator. The line 14 extension project is north of Paris, running from Clichy-St Ouen to Pleyel, in the neighbouring town of St Denis.

This underground infrastructure project, which is 55% financed by Société du Grand Paris (a development project for the entire Paris metropolitan area), is designed to help relieve congestion on Line 13, improving travel conditions and access to Paris for people living in the northern suburbs.

The consortium will be responsible for constructing a 2.2km tunnel linking Clichy-St Ouen and Pleyel, including a tunnel that links to the train maintenance and marshalling zone. It will also work on the Mairie de St Ouen station, as well as four ancillary structures, including reinforcing the infrastructures of line C of the RER (Regional Express Network).

The consortium said it would lay strong emphasis on sustainable development. In particular, it plans to focus on limiting nuisances in a very dense urban environment. All excavated materials will be evacuated by river, for instance, to avoid disrupting road traffic in the towns concerned by the project.

The project will be carried out with an 80m-long earth pressure balance tunnel boring machine (TBM). The consortium said that it included several major technical challenges, such as taking account of the diversity of soils along the route of the tunnel, and the reinforcement of the infrastructures of line C of the RER, beneath which the connecting tunnel to the train maintenance and marshalling zone will pass.

To meet these challenges, the consortium said it would analyse all the data collected from the TBM, monitoring it on the surface in real time to have the capacity for immediate response.

Social inclusion

The works will begin this summer and last several years. The companies in the consortium have undertaken to hire site workers through social inclusion schemes, providing 20,000 hours of employment.

Bouygues Travaux Publics and the Soletanche Bachy companies have previously carried out several underground infrastructure projects. These include a section of the Toulouse metro and the second tube of the Toulon tunnel, both in France, plus a tunnel for a metro line in Hong Kong. They are currently constructing the underground section of the Nice tramway in France.

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