Ferrovial La ingeniería civil como arte: creatividad e innovación

The underground origin of a great city

Bilbao, Spain

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Bilbao is both a big city and a small town; it’s open to the world and well-connected, but it hasn’t lost sight of its roots. Its metro network may be the best way to highlight all of these attributes.

It runs almost 50 kilometers on both banks of the Estuary of Bilbao, covering the so-called Greater Bilbao area and serving more than one million people. At the same time, it all passes through an ancient spot at the heart of the Seven Streets, the original nucleus of the city.

Lines 1, 2, and 3 and the Basque railway network pass through the modern Zazpikaleak Station in the historic area of Bilbao. Despite being a recent installation, its foundations are laid right where the Bilbao-Aduana station, the head of the growing railway network in those years, was built at the beginning of the 20th century.

Underground transportation came much later. Line 3 was the last to be built; it opened in 2017 after eight years of works, most of which was done by Ferrovial. Between the Kukugalla station to the east of the city and Ola to the north are 12 kilometers of tunnels and open-air tracks. In the middle of the eight stations that make up the line is Zazpikaleak.

The first time someone thought of building a metro in Bilbao was in 1920. The station in the historic part of the city was still new then. However, the project was delayed for decades, and it wasn’t until the end of the second millennium that the first line opened. Since then, it has seen exponential growth, and there are more and more plans for expansion in the future.

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