The new Etxebarri bridge is inaugurated
Iñaki Arriola, the Basque Government's Minister for Housing, Public Works and Transport, has inaugurated the new Etxebarri Bridge. It is located at kilometre point 4,901 on the Bilbao -San Sebastian Line. Its execution comes as the result of the financing agreement signed between the public body Euskal Trenbide Sarea (Basque Railway Network) and URA (Basque Water Agency).
The EuskoTren trains which cover the Bilbao - San Sebastian and the Bilbao - Bermeo lines have been passing through the new bridge since mid-February. However, the urban development work in the area was not completed until mid-May of this year.
This Basque Government project, as well as improving rail travel security, has successfully eliminated the risk of floods, which used to be a problem at this point of the track owing to the characteristics of the previous bridge.
The Etxebarri bridge
The new structure has been built at a cost of 6.4 million euro. It is a single span bridge, and therefore avoids intermediate supports over the bed of the Nervión river. This completely eliminates the risk of floating debris causing damage to the structure, and guards against overflowing and floods. Similarly, the walkway is less dense and stands at a greater height than the previous one. This is so that, even in the event that the riverbed rises and there is an accumulation of floating debris, it will stand at a sufficient height, and there will be no risk that the debris hits against the deck of the bridge.
The new viaduct boasts a walkway that is three metres wide, enabling pedestrians to move between the towns of Etxebarri and Basauri. Similarly, the new infrastructure will allow for the construction of a cycle path, which will make it easier for cyclists to travel between the two towns.