Site investigations for the main Rail Baltica line in Lithuania are currently underway in the Jonava region. Kelprojektas – a local company under the supervision of Spanish IDOM – is currently surveying the area from the towns of Švecarija to Šėta. Special attention is paid to the site where the almost 2km long railway bridge over river Neris will be built – it will be the longest in the Baltics.
Why are geological surveys so important and how they are done?
The geological surveys are meant to help determining the composition of soil underneath the Rail Baltica construction sites. Soil samples from more than 25 meters underground are sent to the laboratory and examined to determine mechanical properties and geotechnical conditions for each site.
Currently two types or surveys are being conducted in Lithuania – geological probing along the planned main line and more detailed geological surveys required for value engineering. The former entails drilling 10 meters deep boreholes every 100 meters. This will then help make design decisions and prepare for future construction activities. The latter is a more in-depth analysis that will help the designers to determine what sort of foundations will be best suited for future bridges, viaducts and other structures.
The geological surveys in Lithuania for Rail Baltica are almost halfway finished. Currently multiple teams complete up to 15 surveys in one day and a total of arround 1000 surveys for the main line will be done by the end of November. Once the investigations are finished in the Švecarija to Šėta section, the works will continue towards the Latvian state border.