MABEL Cabrer, the Balearic minister of public works, housing and transport, announced yesterday that the construction of the provisional railway station at Son Fuster has started.
The station, and the redistribution of energy, communications and water cables and pipes, must be completed before the stretch of rails running through Palma from the Plaza España is put underground.
Cabrer said that this will save time until the contract for putting the rails underground and building the huge transport depot under the Parc de Es Estacions is awarded.
Work on this project will mean a two year interruption in the train service between Plaza España and Son Fuster, on the outskirts of the city.
As the contract for the work is worth more than six million euros, conditions have to be published in the Official European Union Gazette, which will delay awarding it until at least December, Cabrer said.
The work now in progress involves converting the wayside station of Son Fuster at kilometer 1.8 of the Palma-Inca line into a provisional station, from where the buses providing a link with Plaza España will leave.
This will take three months to complete and will cost 1.13 million euros.
Carlos Jover, the director general of public works and transport, said that redistributing the services of ONO, Emaya, Gesa-Endesa and Gesa-Gas, means that land will have to be expropriated.
This operation will also take three months and cost 1.22 million euros.
A third project which will have to be done before the train goes underground is the dismantling of the bridge over the railway lines, which will not be done for the time being in order not to disrupt traffic.
The interruption to the the service is expected to affect around 100'000 commuters a month.