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Quito Metro TBMs break world drilling record

  • Three tunnel boring machines (TMBs) are building the Quito Metro tunnel; two are working simultaneously and one has completed its run, with progress at approximately 81.51%

ACCIONA and the Line 1 Consortium have set a new world record on the Quito Metro construction project. This time it was the TBM “Luz de América” that reached the highest levels of productivity for a machine of this type on its run between La Magdalena and San Francisco stations, drilling a total of 40.5 metres in a 12-hour shift and 79.4 metres in a 24-hour working day. Earlier this month, a world record for progress was verified after drilling 1,489.5 metres in 30 days.

The productivity records, set during the month of May, were certified recently by German company Herrenknecht, manufacturer of the TBM “Luz de América”. This milestone is in addition to the records set in August 2017 by another of the TBMs that ACCIONA is using on the construction of the Quito Metro: “La Guaragua”.

Last week, this TBM reached its fourth station, San Francisco, completing a total of 6,813.57 metres drilled and 4,542 tunnel casing rings installed.

The TBM “Luz de América” is responsible for drilling a total of 9.06 km of tunnel, from Solanda station to the Exit Shaft at El Arbolito Park. The machine has now completed 75.27% of its work, with a total of 6.81 km drilled and 4,546 concrete rings installed. 

“La Guaragua” continues to advance

Meanwhile, TBM “La Guaragua” began its next segment from Universidad Central station on Monday, 2 July. This machine has drilled 5,620 metres of tunnel to date, and installed 3,747 concrete rings. Completion of the 6,977 metre tunnel to the end of the line at the El Arbolito Park Exit Shaft stands at 80.54%.

“La Guaragua” left Labrador station in February 2017 and has completed the line through 5 stations: Jipijapa, Iñaquito, La Carolina, La Pradera and Universidad Central.In August 2017, this TBM broke the world progress record by travelling 1,131 metres over 30 consecutive days, from Iñaquito station to La Carolina.  

The future Line 1 of the Quito Metro will have 22.6 kilometres of tunnel and 15 stations. The overall project is 70.5% complete, with work underway at 73 action points. To date, part of El Ejido park, Av. América and the 24 de Mayo viaduct have been refurbished, and the Labrador transfer station, built during the first phase, has begun providing service.

The TBM “La Carolina” has completed its work, and the project will be fully complete in late 2019.

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