Start of the Rekalde Bypass project in Bilbao

The construction of the Rekalde Bypass will eliminate the urban barrier currently created by the section of the BI-10 motorway, previously known as A-8, as it passes through Rekalde, Bilbao, helping to take traffic out of the city centre and recuperating the space for its inhabitants.  

This stretch is approximately 1,800 m long and includes several structures and viaducts that impede mobility in the neighbourhoods of Rekalde, Rekaldeberri, Betolaza and Uretamendi. 

Current section of the BI-10 in the Rekalde neighbourhood in Bilbao

The planned 2,230 m bypass consists of two separate carriageways, with three lanes in each direction, mostly through tunnels.  

The construction of this infrastructure is managed by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. The project has been awarded to the temporary joint venture PC Variante Rekalde, of which TYPSA is a part, primarily handling geotechnical areas, tunnels, construction procedures, drainage, pavements, structures, and BIM partially. 

This road supports heavy traffic, with over 30 million vehicles per year, and a daily average of 87,212 vehicles, of which approximately 3% are heavy goods vehicles.   

Images of the current structures of this section of the BI-30, as it passes through the neighbourhood of Rekalde 

The new infrastructure is located entirely within the municipality of Bilbao and is located geographically on the southern side of the A-8 motorway (BI-10), north of the Metropolitan South Bypass. The area is already partially developed, with a particularly irregular terrain, where the implementation of this infrastructure layout must be compatible with the geometry of the land, with the least possible effects to the existing residential buildings, facilities and services. Similarly, implementation phases must also be aligned with the continued functioning of the current infrastructure. 

This new infrastructure will free up the space currently occupied by the A-8 motorway, including the section of viaduct over Rekalde Park, at a height of approximately 20-22 metres. 

The elimination of this viaduct over Rekalde and the construction of the new bypass in its place, largely underground along much of its route, primarily in tunnels beneath the hills of Rekalde, combined with some sections on viaducts, will reduce impact and noise, and providing new recreational areas and open spaces.

The project will include an analysis of technical and economic feasibility, the design and calculation of structures and tunnel, a risk analysis and possible mitigation measures, and the definition of the construction method, always maintaining existing traffic. The technical, environmental, and urban feasibility of the intervention will also be analysed, and issues related to maintenance and conservation during the infrastructure´s lifespan will be considered in its design. New working techniques with BIM technology will also be incorporated. 

Slightly different variations to the initial layout will be designed in order to find a better adaptation to the terrain, aiming for the tunnel to be mostly excavated in solid rock. The geotechnical survey conducted, construction method studies to define an accurate economic assessment, and issues regarding construction, traffic, as well as environmental, safety and tunnel MEP systems, will be considered, to allow construction while minimising risks associated with the execution of complex infrastructures optimising deviations in time, price, and quality. 

Adolfo Samaniego
Head of Euskadi Roads

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