Saturday, June 3, 2023

The story of the pioneering Salamanca engineer who built an innovative tunnel to link Spain with Africa

A floating tunnel for trains, cars and pedestrians connecting Spain to Africa through the Strait of Gibraltar. It was the crazy idea of ​​Fernando Gallego, an engineer from Salamanca, more than 100 years ago and went unnoticed by many. Now, the University of Salamanca, through the Escuela Politécnica Superior de Zamora, wants to value her figure and study her project.

“The construction of a tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar is one of the great challenges that Spanish engineering has faced and we have been thinking for more than a century about how to proceed with this project. The problem of It is that we are on the edge of the two plates, we would have to go to a minimum depth of 300 meters and this would mean that the solution to tunneling was never made due to the huge construction challenges. And if we want to build a bridge, we’ll have to build pillars about 200 floors high to support it, with a disproportionate amount of work and ineffective investment,” a professor at USAL’s Escuela Politécnica Superior de Zamora Avelio Tejon says.

However, about 100 years ago a road engineer from Villoria devised an innovative system to connect the two continents. And Raba removes all the difficulties of the area. “What he designs is a floating tunnel with simple ventilation and drainage galleries so that a double railway track, a double vehicle track and pedestrian access can go inside. To float the system, he uses some cables to hold The tube is deep enough in the middle of the ocean floor for the individual boats to circulate freely”, Tejon explains.

With the Republican government, he drafted and agreed to make this investment. However, after he is overthrown, the government abandons the project and is expelled from the Corps of Engineers, he returns to his hometown and begins inventing airplanes and builds an airplane that can fly with compressed air. Flies along and takes off vertically. This happens with successful tests and they take him to Matakan, they tell him that high officials of state and aviation are going and since he is not the right type, he does not show up and they manage to arrest him. Let’s do Barcelona. We know that it is the US government that obtains visas for their work to leave Spain.

Technically it works but it has to be adapted to the present day requirements. In fact, the Nordic countries are investigating a system that is basically based on the same system that Fernando Gallego proposed, which is to suspend a pipe in the middle of the ocean. In this case, they are thinking of hanging it from some floating means and Gallego proposed it in another way, by lowering the cables to the bottom. It is a wonderful and attractive idea for that time. Why couldn’t it have been developed given the knowledge we have today about the circulation of currents in the strait and the calculations made today?

For the time being it presents some advances from its time.

In his writings he is dedicated to selling his patents and his projects all over the world. He builds a dam in Egypt and works in USA, Russia etc. The system he designs is presented to the countries he deals with and to the North American government and he claims he presents a system of floating docks, they don’t buy it but Normandy the following year The landing is accompanied by some structures called floating docks and he died claiming that those patents were his, so there are indications that a gentleman from Viloria had influence in World War II.

In Viloria, he alone builds a bridge with 15 people with innovations in structural engineering as he manages to make the funicular arches that make up most of the material as concrete works best under compression and he builds the bridge only Manages to work under compression. There was a book with the main bridges at the time and the design he produced, the amount of steel used was one-tenth that of normal bridges of the time.

At the age of 23, they called him because the work on the Barcelona Metro was flooded and they didn’t know how to proceed. This guy defined the underground drainage system and built the Barcelona Metro. In fact, he built a gateway at the entrance to the Balms Street subway.

He also has an adventurous aspect and we have managed to document that he is the first Spaniard who managed to go around the world. He went around the world twice and this is something that has been verified. A pantheon was built in Logroño filled with Masonic symbols and small bags of earth where he was, that is, in Antarctica.

Now, the University of Salamanca has received a drawer containing Fernando Gallego’s complete project of the union of Spain with Africa, made up of reports, plans and assessments. With it, students and professors will be able to undertake research work and, above all, dissemination projects “to give importance to the figure of an extraordinary engineer who was forgotten because he was not at the right time or at the right place. It is a Great honor to get this project”.

The drawer had been on the nightstand for 40 years, so it was saved. The idea is to present the work to various Congresses. This is a family relocation for a long period of time

Civil Engineering is an important field for humanity because of the future challenges of infrastructure, sustainable transportation and a career with a bright future

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here