In a meeting held on September 13 at the Town Hall of the Municipality of Santiago, supported and convened by Mayor Irací Hassler, the Metro undertook to change the location of the mouth of the line 7 station initially projected on the Forest Park. On the occasion they were present, in addition to the communal chief, directors and officials of the municipality; President from Metro SA, Guillermo Muñoz; the presidents of the Committee for the Advancement of the Forest Park and of the Neighborhood Council No. 1 Forest Park, which are part of the Save the Forest Park movement; and the director of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Fernando Pérez.
Line 7 of the Metro contemplates 19 new stations (with 26 kilometers of layout) that will be located between the communes of Renca and Vitacura. After environmental approval (July 2021), on Thursday, November 25 of the same year, the state company awarded the construction of the first section to the company China Railway 16th Bureau Group Co., Ltd.
The tender contemplates the execution of the civil works for the excavation of shafts, galleries and tunnels of seven stations of Section 1, in the western sector of the capital, located in the communes of Renca, Cerro Navia and in a part of Quinta Normal.
The conflict arose as a result of the fact that the original layout contemplated the construction shaft and a station in the Forest Park, in the center of the capital, seriously impacting it. Both the neighbors and the Municipality of Santiago filed claims against the project with the Environmental Assessment Service (SEA), requesting to redefine the route. The municipality’s appeal was rejected in October last year. However, the one filed by neighbors was declared admissible.
New station and improvements
After numerous meetings and negotiations, the parties were achieving a rapprochement. At the last meeting, heThe Metro engineers explained the technical reasons why, in their opinion, the layout of Line 7 could not be modified through the Parque Forestal, but in exchange they confirmed that it is possible to eliminate the entrance of the station in the park (as initially considered), and also the elimination of the construction shaft at the eastern head of the Forestal. Therefore, there will be no station entrance or construction shaft there. Ventilation will only be maintained in the bike lane in front of the Castillo Forestal restaurant.
In addition, the company promised with the municipality and the organizations to carry out a series of improvement works for the park and its surroundings. These include: repair of the German Fountain, a study (supporting the municipality) for the suppression of the reversibility in Cardenal Caro Avenue, a landscaping project for the western head, renovation of Plaza Venezuela with pavements, lighting and security cameras , as well as the acquisition of more and larger trees, in addition to the protection of the species in nurseries –during the works– while the project is executed.
Regarding the new location of the station, two possibilities are considered: in the sunken square of Baquedano and in the green area in front of the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile. For the latter, the architect Teodoro Fernández was contacted, who would do a project on Plaza Domingo Gómez Rojas. The idea is to take advantage of proposing a design on the north side of the river (including the tennis courts) and integrate the area into the Forest Park.
Once the municipality concludes the talks, a tripartite agreement is expected to be signed. However, the judicial appeal filed, which is currently in the Environmental Court, is still ongoing. In fact, the allegations are set for next November 24. The appellants must now evaluate whether or not to continue with the case.