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The tunnel that changed the history of the coastal peoples

Santa Fe and Paraná are connected deep by a subfluvial tunnel that unfolds along the river bearing the same name.

Santa Fe y Paraná

This is the  first road link linking  Mesopotamia with the rest of Argentina. At the time, it represented an   innovation   in the works of its kind. The  subfluvial tunnel “Uranga-Sylvestre Begnis”   was officially inaugurated on December 13, 1969, after nine years of arduous management and construction. Prior to its creation, the crosses used to be made by raft. Therefore, it not only came to solve the communication between the two provinces, but also to improve many other aspects. Transport, trade and social life benefit from it on a daily basis.

With its  2939 meters in length , it has the advantage of being almost insensitive to loads. In fact, the materials and techniques used in its construction were the most advanced during the time. The  assembly consisted of 36 prefabricated concrete tubes weighing 4200 tons. These were 10.80 meters of outer diameter and 65.45 meters long. They all came from a dry dock made for that purpose. Once they were ready, they would be moved to the docks and cranes would sink them to the bottom of the river. Through a dredge they were fixed and subsequently assembled. The central for this work was a floating island that came from Holland.

Among its  characteristics , we can mention that the work has a system of ventilation and renewal of the air by the gases of vehicles. This consists of 4 fans per header. In addition, a closed television system was installed with distributed speakers that allow control of the place. They are distributed throughout the journey to alert drivers to possible traffic problems. In addition, there is a pressure water pipe with outlet taps and hoses every 100 meters for possible fires.

 A whole process towards progress 

In the  beginning , it was named the  Hernandarias Tunnel of Saavedra , in homage to the first governor of the Río de la Plata during colonialism. However, in 2001 his name took the current form in reference to  Raúl Uranga  and  Carlos Sylvestre Begnis  . They, respectively, were the heads of State of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe  responsible for  the realization of this  magnificent project  . To this day, the work is maintained and managed by a biprovincial body.

The road to its materialization began on June 15, 1960. There, an  inter-provincial treaty  was signed which provided for its construction and that the costs would be met in equal parts. In this regard, a regulatory commission was established to prepare the basis for international bidding. He also took care of the preparation of the project and the subsequent implementation. The whole process depended on both legislatures voting on relevant laws leading to the commencement of work.

There were countless events, obstacles and conflicts that broke out in between. There were changes in government, lack of funding and years with construction half-done. Finally, the capital was acquired through the Nation and a workshop was deployed with more than  two thousand workers  who gave it all. As a result, the arrival of the summer of 1969 brought with it the expected opening.

 Regional Development 

On December 13 of that year,  the scissors cut the ribbon  and two localities became  sisters  . The de facto president Juan Carlos Onganía and governors Eladio Modesto Vázquez (Santa Fe) and Ricardo Favre (Entre Ríos) inaugurated it. Along with the event,  pride  and  celebrations  could be heard at  both ends  of the puddle. A manifestation of  history  and political decision to improve the quality of life of the  People . Would you dare to travel for it?

Publication Date: 05/08/2020

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