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New Access Point for Porte des Postes Station in Lille, ...

New Access Point for Porte des Postes Station in Lille, France

Construction to create a new access point is in progress at Porte des Postes station, on line 1 of the Lille, France metro. After a year dedicated to networks diversion, structural construction has begun and will last several months. The only impact for passengers: the bus stops were moved a few meters away. New standards regarding the evacuation

Entrance to Porte des Postes Station, Lille, France

Construction to create a new access point is in progress at Porte des Postes station, on line 1 of the Lille, France metro. After a year dedicated to networks diversion, structural construction has begun and will last several months. The only impact for passengers: the bus stops were moved a few meters away.

New standards regarding the evacuation measures of metro stations, in the case of an emergency, required the creation of additional exits in the ticket hall of the Porte des Postes station. The European Metropolis of Lille (Métropole européenne de Lille or MEL), however, wanted to go further by improving passenger comfort and experience with the creation of a new escalator (which is not considered to be an emergency evacuation measure).

The new access point, that is now well under construction, consists of a fixed staircase and an escalator, side by side. Located at the corner of rue des Postes and of boulevard Victor Hugo, the updated station will also offer faster access to the boulevard bus stops, without having to cross rue des Postes.

Before starting the construction, the terrain had to be prepared. That is to say, several pipelines and buried ducts had to be moved including: electricity, gas, water, telephone, cable, and more. The majority of dense urban construction zones must first deal with this preliminary work. This takes time, as it requires the coordination between numerous stakeholders. Furthermore, the distributors of these networks do not necessarily list this project high in their priorities.

Since no discovery of remains or groundwater was found to disturb the network diversion work, construction workers were able to get right into the thick of the work.

Map of the new Line 1, Lille metro, France

The structural construction began several weeks ago and can be summarized in a few steps.

  • First step, groundwork: digging, maintaining the grounds around the hole by means of stakes supporting concrete panels, commonly called “Berlin walls.”
  • Second step, breaking ground: opening the underground wall of the station by sawing the concrete shell. A specialized company carried out this operation in the beginning of December 2015.
  • Third step, structural work: installing formwork before casting the floor slab, mounting the walls and raising the ceiling tiles. Then sealing and waterproofing the whole structure before infilling.

The construction should be finished by mid 2016. Then comes the finishing touches: floor tiles, paint, laying ramps, railing, and more. The companies charged with installing the escalator, the automatic doors, the lighting, and the signaling follow next. This equipment is, of course, connected to the Centralized Command Post of the metro, which must supervise their operating conditions in real time.

Are you aware of the complexity involved in the development of public transportation within urban areas? What major construction projects are happening in your community? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below. 

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

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Carmen Phillips is a graduate of Oberlin College and is currently pursuing her masters in French Translation at Kent State University. Carmen spent the last year in Lyon, France teaching English to primary school children and had the opportunity to i...