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Dragados has been awarded the first contract of the New York Subway extension plan

The project, worth in $428 million, will include the execution of four hard-rock tunnels with a total length of 7,500 metres

10-07-2006
Dragados, S.A., the leading company of the Construction area of the ACS Group, has been awarded the first contract of the New York Subway extension, namely the construction of the East Side Access Manhattan Tunnels, worth $428 million.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded the joint venture comprising Dragados USA Inc. and its local partner Judlau Contracting Inc., the contract for the construction of a new direct Subway connection between the Long Island network in Queens and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.

In order to execute this project, Dragados will use two hard-rock tunnel boring machines that will construct four tunnels with a total length of 7,500 metres. No tunnels have been constructed in the New York Subway transport network for 25 years and tunnel boring machines have never been used to build them.

Dragados’ experience in the execution of this type of projects has been a determining factor in the selection of its proposal by MTA. Over the course of its history, the Spanish company has built 1,300 kilometres of tunnels of all kinds. At present, with the same system that it will employ in New York, Dragados is constructing the Pertus tunnels for the Figueras-Perpignon AVE (high-speed railway), the Guadarrama tunnels for the Madrid-Valladolid AVE, the Abdalajis East tunnel for the Cordoba-Malaga AVE, the tunnels of Line 3 of the Barcelona Subway and the central section of the tunnel of Pajares.

The works, which are highly complex due to the added difficulty supposed by the fact that the New York subsoil is to a large extent rock, will start immediately and will be completed within 50 months. The tunnel boring machines, with a cross-section measuring 6.70 metres in diameter, will excavate 265,000 cubic metres of rock, while an additional 50,000 cubic metres will be excavated through the traditional method of perforation and blasting.

These contracts have been awarded as a consequence of the strategy implemented by the international construction area based on the carrying out of new transport infrastructure concessions and construction projects requiring a high degree of specialisation.

For Dragados, winning the first contract for the extension of the New York Subway represents the consolidation of its arrival on the North American construction market, since it comes on the back of the recently awarded contract for the rehabilitation of the I-287, an interstate highway in the north of New York State.

The New York State Department of Transport (NYSDOT) has awarded Dragados the contract for the modernisation of this highway, in partnership with the North American company Yonkers Contracting Ltd., which encompasses the construction of ten new structures and is worth $141 million. The I-287 has a high traffic density of about 120,000 vehicles, which means that the works must be carried out by means of a careful planning process.

Through its subsidiary Dragados USA Inc., Dragados is now present in New York, Miami, San Francisco and Austin. Notwithstanding other projects in the study phase, the Spanish company of the ACS Group has already been pre-qualified for three concession projects worth some $4 billion. Specifically, these are bids for the construction and operation of two toll highways in Texas (the Dallas and Dallas-Fort Worth ring-roads) and the Miami Port tunnel, the aim of which is for road traffic originating at the port infrastructure to avoid having to cross the city centre.

International presence

The ACS Group aims to increase its international presence, profitably and in markets, that provide sufficient legal safety. As such, just in 2005, the international activity of the construction area grew to €555 million.

Amongst the main international projects currently being executed by the ACS Group in the construction area are the following: the execution of the main high speed railway connection between Spain and France through Figueres-Perpignon, the Waterford Bypass in Ireland and the San Cristóbal tunnel in Santiago de Chile.

For the ACS Group, as a whole, international sales last year amounted to €2,106 billion.