July 20, 2017
Argentinian President inaugurates start of Webuild $450m tunnel work in Buenos Aires
Milan, July 20, 2017 – Argentinian President Mauricio Macri inaugurated the start of the preparatory work for the excavation of a hydraulic tunnel in Buenos Aires by Salini Impregilo, part of his government’s biggest public works project valued at $1.2 billion to clean up the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin, one of the most polluted in the world.
“This is a historic day” said Macri as he presided over the lowering by crane of the head of the tunnel-boring machine down the shaft where the TBM will begin drilling. “It fills me with hope …It is one of the most important projects being financed by the World Bank in the world.”
Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, Undersecretary of Hydraulic Resources Pablo Bereciartua and Gladys Gonzalez of the local authority responsible for the project were also in attendance.
The $450-million tunnel being built by the consortium led by Salini Impregilo will flush the waste water that will be treated at one of two plants to be built near the River Plate. At 12 kilometres, the tunnel will be one of the longest of its kind in the world, excavated 40 metres below the riverbed. The last 1.5 kilometers of its length will be equipped with a series of steel tubes that will rise up to the riverbed, allowing for the treated water to exit.
Work is expected to be finished by 2021.
The entire project to clean up the basin includes the drilling of dozens of kilometres of sewers and tunnels and the construction of two treatment plants for sludge and water. It is partly financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, a division of the World Bank.
Despite its reputation, the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin hosts 23 percent of the residents of metropolitan Buenos Aires, or 9.16 percent of the country’s total population who stand to benefit from the project at the health and environmental level.