After 10 years, Barcelona's Sagrera station is 40% completed
Despite being plagued by problems, work on the city's grand intermodal station continues but with no fixed completion date
After 10 long years, including a number of delays, Barcelona's future intermodal Sagrera station is now 40% built, but without any final date for the completion of the work.
The media were invited on Wednesday to visit the progress made on the station, which was resumed a year ago after work on it was halted for three years.
Comparison with Sagrada Família
The question of whether the station would be completed before the Sagrada Família church, Barcelona's icon of unfinished building work, naturally came up.
"If we finish first, it will be by chance, but we are not looking to compete with the Sagrada Família," said Juan Antonio Hermoso, the assistant manager of the works.
Antoni Gaudí's church is scheduled to be finally completed in 2026, but all that is known about the station's completion date is that it will take another five years at least.
500 people at work on station
Built on three levels, 500 people are working on the site, which is the maximum number possible at any one time, says the state-owned railway infrastructure company, Adif.
The station's upper level will be for high-speed trains, with the foyer and two large car parks on the middle level, while the lower level will be for the Rodalies commuter trains.
Digging underground means the work requires technical expertise, such as having to pump out four million liters of subterranean water every day, the equivalent of five Olympic pools.
Despite the time it has taken to get this far, it at least looks as if the station will actually be finished one day, because in the past 10 years the project has been plagued by problems.
A major controversy is the project's cost, which has overrun the original estimate by six times, but which the courts dismissed as being due to unforeseen events and emergencies.