Paris stands on the brink of constructing the biggest underground project in the history of the French nation. With about 170km of new underground infrastructure in total, the 205km Grand Paris Express will expand the city’s metro system to one of the largest in the world. This project is of epic proportions and will provide a multi-metro route solution to serve the rapid growth and increasing urban density of the city. Armand van Wijck reports for TunnelTalk.
In 2030 Paris expects 10.5 million passengers to use the city’s metro every day, initiating the need to expand the current system as used by 8.5 million travellers per day. To deal with the expected 2 million growth increase, the city has chosen to construct a 205km orbital network which will connect the city suburbs to each other.
While the €25.9 billion (US$29 billion) orbital network will relieve the enormous pressure and congestion on the existing radial lines, the key driving factor behind the Grand Paris Express is urbanisation. “The suburbs surrounding Paris city centre are densely populated and growing rapidly, with more and more people needing to travel between the suburbs only,” explained Vincent Baumont, Deputy Director of the Mission of Project Management Consulting of engineering company Arcadis. “It would therefore make most sense to connect all these suburbs with each other by a ring line and thus avoid crossing Paris.”