An important infrastructure project that, for years, had been postponed for political or environmental reasons finally received its inauguration last August. The project's tunnels and viaducts in and around the Colombian city of Medellín are intended to provide fast access to the neighboring valley, location of the international airport. Securiton is safeguarding the tunnels and key infrastructure installations against fire.
Situated in the Aburra valley in the mid-Andes mountain range in north-western Colombia, Medellín lies 1538 m above sea level. The "Capital of the Mountains" is the country's second largest city (population: 2.5 million-plus) and the second largest metropolitan region (population: 3.9 million) after the capital Bogotá.
Road transport milestone
Although Medellín has a city airport, it is restricted in size and serves only national destinations. More distant destinations are served by Rionegro Airport in the neighboring San Nicholas valley. August 15, 2019 saw the official opening of the 8.2 km Tunel de Oriente (East Tunnel) and a 24 km expressway between Rionegro and Medellín's eastern suburbs.
These highly sensitive sensor cables are designed for use in environments of that nature
Present at the ceremony was Colombian President Ivan Duque, who insisted on being the first user to drive through the tunnel. The new link cuts journey times from 50 minutes on the former 32 km extremely winding route to less than 20 minutes. The main beneficiaries are the eight million-plus users of Rionegro Airport, and the wider region in terms of tourism, industry, the environment and mobility.
The new route features three tunnels, one of which, at 8.2 kilometers, is the longest in Latin America, and nine viaducts, which allow users to negotiate the mountainous terrain at speed. Toll booths at each end of the route collect user fees from drivers.
Securiton was tasked with providing fire protection for the tunnels and other facilities, consisting of ceiling-mounted SecuriSens LIST line-type heat detectors. These highly sensitive sensor cables, designed for use in environments of that nature, are capable of detecting fires despite the presence of dust, heat, smoke or exhaust fumes.
SecuriFire fire alarm systems and large numbers of Securiton fire detectors ensure the safety of the toll booths, control and electrical rooms and tunnels.