June 19th, 2024 | 7:24

Bilbao

Agreement for the burial of the Olabeaga railway

Maria Jose Gonzalez

May 15, 2024 | 3:15 p.m.

The Governing Board of Bilbao City Council has approved an agreement with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA), ADIF and the Bilbao Ría 2000 Society. This agreement marks the beginning of an ambitious project to bury the Bilbao-Santurtzi railway , which seeks to transform and regenerate the Olabeaga neighborhood.

The agreement establishes the commitments of each administration in the so-called "Olabeaga operation." The main objectives are to improve railway functionality, minimize the barrier effect of the route and free up land necessary for urban regeneration. In addition, it aims to improve the urban environment and contribute to the public housing policy. The planned action represents a total cost of 88,58 million euros (VAT included). Bilbao City Council will contribute 18,85 million in eleven annual installments, from 2024 to 2034. MITMA, through ADIF, will make the necessary financial contributions and will collaborate with Bilbao Ría 2000 in the drafting and supervision of the construction projects. The Bilbao Ría 2000 Company will manage the operation of Olabeaga, including the construction and coverage of the railway infrastructure, as well as the promotion and urbanization of the resulting urban space.

The agreement, initially approved, will be published in the Official Gazette of Bizkaia (BOB) and a public information period of 20 calendar days will open. During this time, citizens will be able to review the agreement and present their observations or suggestions.

The burying of the railway in Olabeaga will improve the functionality of the railway system and significantly transform the urban environment. Expected benefits include improved connectivity, elimination of the rail barrier effect and facilitation of the movement of people and goods. The release of land will allow the development of new infrastructure and public spaces, improving the quality of life of residents. Reducing noise and pollution will contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. The public housing policy will ensure that more people can access quality housing at affordable prices.

The approval of this agreement represents a crucial advance in Bilbao's urban renewal strategy. The undergrounding of the railway in Olabeaga is a comprehensive project that combines improvements in transport infrastructure, urban regeneration and sustainable development. As planning and execution progresses, this initiative is expected to have a lasting positive impact on the city and its inhabitants, consolidating Bilbao as a model of modern and sustainable urban development.

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