The construction project for the building of the Somport road tunnel began officially in January 1994 as a result of the international agreement signed by France and Spain on the 25th of April, 1991. It was inaugurated nine years later, on the 18th of January 2003 by the Spanish Minister of Public Works - Francisco Álvarez Cascos, the French Minister for Transport - Gilles de Robien, the European Commissioner for Transport – Loyola de Palacios and the President of Aragón – Marcelino Iglesias.
The 8,608 metre tunnel was subject to improvements and increases in security measures during its construction due to the accident in the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1999. The excavation of nine evacuation galleries every 400 metres, eight of which connect directly with the railway tunnel, together with the existing security recesses, shelters, laybys, closed circuit televisions, etc., make this tunnel one of the safest in the world.
The building situated in the south known as the “Spanish Entrance Building” is the main control office and was designed to fulfill both a practical and aesthetic roll reflecting the importance of this communication link. Of straightforward access, the building has five floors and a total surface area of 3,660 square metres, of which 2,800 square metres are useable. The Control Centre occupies the top floor with the main entrance, offices for tunnel staff, maintenance and security area, offices for civil defence and police officers, workshops and other services, a water deposit, pumping station, electric power room, etc. occupying the rest of the building. It is worth noting the welcoming mural at the entrance to the tunnel, a work by the artist Teresa Ramón from Huesca.