Many major projects over several years are planned in France, the Grand Paris Express, urbanisation at sea in Monaco, the worksites of the metropolis of Lyon and the preparation of the infrastructures that will host the 2024 Olympic Games. Codimatra, a supplier of spare parts and construction machinery, is now interested in the Grand Paris Express...

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What is the situation with regard to the 2018 projects?

For information, 72,000 projects were identified in 2018, but no concerns for the sector, the 2019 projects are higher in value (124 billion euros against 118 billion euros in 2018). The number of projects planned is therefore lower but the generation of income is higher. More than 15,000 companies will successfully complete these projects.
An almost perfect division between public works and construction.
According to the study conducted by Vecteur+, 51% of the worksites concern public works and 49% of them concern construction trades. The most active regions will be the Île-de-France, Nord-Est and Ouest regions. In comparison, the other regions of France will experience a slight decrease in activity in view of the planned projects.

The construction site of the Grand Paris Express, the tunnel boring machines will start digging underground tunnels

Connecting the territories of Greater Paris to each other and to the centre is the challenge of the Grand Paris projects. And the challenge is considerable, the 4 new lines will require many machines such as tunnel boring machines because the project will involve the construction of 200 km of lines, 68 stations and 7 technical centres. Once this work is completed, the inhabitants of Greater Paris will be able to travel more easily to the centre and will no longer need to go through the centre to travel to other suburbs of Greater Paris. The aim of this €35 billion project is also to reduce the pollution generated by vehicle congestion caused by Parisian traffic.


Tunnelling machines, giant and fascinating machines

First of all, the giant tunnel boring machines will prepare to dig and assemble the 200 kilometres of tunnels until 2020. For information, these are tunnel boring machines 100 metres long and 10 metres in diameter designed by the German company Herrenknecht, in all about twenty tunnel boring machines are planned for this exceptional site. These tunnel boring machines will sometimes have to dig more than 50 metres deep to avoid the foundations of buildings and other underground networks. What is fascinating about these extraordinary construction machines is that they dig and form the framework of the tunnel at the same time. First of all, thanks to a cutting wheel in charge of digging and crushing rocks. Then the excavated material is extracted using a worm screw and placed on a conveyor to transport them to the outside. The tunnel boring machine has a stock of rounded concrete segments that are placed by the erector to form a frame ring. Then the hydraulic cylinders are supported on this last ring to move the TBM forward. The machine is controlled by a specialized and experienced pilot.
The new functional lines will only appear from 2020 and the complete construction work will not be completed until 2030.

Earthwork and digging of the 68 stations

The excavators  will be used during the construction of the Grand Paris Express stations, first to build the low wall guide in which the walls will be placed and then later to carry out the excavation and digging. Together with the cable shovels, dump trucks and other equipment needed for these major construction sites in the middle of the city. Depending on the site, the excavation will be done in the open or from the inside under a roof slab.
To learn more, consult this explanatory video:

Will new lines be ready in time for the 2024 Olympics?

The construction of new lines and the arrival of the Olympic Games in Paris is no coincidence. The lines that already exist in 2020 count allow everyone to easily get to the Olympic venues and avoid traffic jams. This other major project is one of the driving forces behind the project, however, with delays due to technical problems, nothing is less secure for some lines.

The economic benefits of such a project

The conclusion of such a project will bring its share of French and foreign investors, with better served suburbs and lower costs, many companies will not hesitate to set up their offices or factories around the new stations. It is also a godsend for Alstom, which won the tender and produced more than 200 trains to serve these new stations.