Pajares Base Tunnel.

La Robla, León, Castilla y León.

The perforation of these 25 km-long tunnels began in 2004. Although once finished they will be the seventh largest in the world, only six months were devoted to pre-studies. Moreover, the environmental impact assessment did not take into account the ground water. It was not until 2006, after several incidents with water pouring from the walls of the galleries, that the first hydrogeological study was performed. The result: 20 aquifers had been perforated, causing subterranean water transfer between the north and south sides of the mountains, which, in turn, affected the water supply at the surface. The cost of this mess, up to now, amounts to €3.2 billion (nearly half of it are EU-funds). The objective is to open one of the tunnels before the general elections of 2015, for the other one there is no final solution in sight.