The Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Mobility of the Government of the Canary Islands has informed this Friday of the completion of the draft of the second Erjos tunnel, within the construction works of the highway between Santiago del Teide and El Tanque, which is part of the so-called Tenerife Island Ring.
“This high-capacity infrastructure will encircle the entire island, allowing the structuring of road traffic at the island level, with a reduction in travel time by half,” according to the department.
The Erjos tunnel consists of two parallel tubes, approximately 4,855 meters long, to which must be added two false tunnels -140 meters in the south mouth and 100 meters in the north mouth-, with a total length of 5, 1 kilometres, which makes it the longest road tunnel in the Canary Islands and the most important and largest road infrastructure developed by the regional government, according to the Ministry, “and the one with the highest value at the national level, not only by volume investment, but for the social, economic and mobility needs it covers,” he adds.
The first cale occurred on June 26, 2023, and this second, in the advance phase, on August 15. The drilling, which has been carried out mainly by blasting, has been carried out in two phases with the aim of reducing the pressures transmitted by the ground in the process of stabilizing the vault: a first advance at the top and a second called destroys, in the remaining part. Drilling is currently being carried out in the crushing phase, in the lower part.
Improvements in project development
To carry out this work, included in the Highway Agreement with the State, a significant deployment of specialized workers and machinery has been designated to carry out the drilling. In addition, three work shifts have been established, seven days a week and 24 hours a day, employing more than 300 direct workers.
The investment budget for the project currently amounts to 256 million euros and the works were awarded in September 2019 to the joint venture formed by FCC Construcción, Syocsa-Inarsa and El Silbo. To date, more than 50% of the work has already been completed, and it is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025.
It should be noted that the tender budget contemplates environmental measures, which will involve an investment of 18 million euros, consisting mainly of the recovery and consolidation of habitats of community interest, as well as the restoration of the La Grama and La Grama quarries. Bilma mountain, and the construction of an edge park that protects the core of Santiago del Teide.