Prequalifiers called for 40km Riyadh metro May 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Prequalifers are being called for the construction of a new US$3 billion light rail metro system for the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.
ADA notice calling for prequalifiers
- Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), which is overseeing the Riyadh Public Transport Project, issued a notice calling for international consortia with metro tunnelling experience to notify their interest.
- The project will be let on a design-build basis, with local media souces claiming that up to 80% of the 40km eventual alignment will be tunnelled. In a TV interview earlier this month (May 2012) Saudi Arabia's Minister of Transport, Dr Jabara bin Eid Al Sraisribuilt, said the project would be constructed in two phases: a 27km Phase 1 north-south alignment and a 13km Phase 2 east-west alignment (Fig 1).
- Phase 1 is scheduled for completion by 2014.
- Preliminary designs, a feasibility study, traffic study, environmental impact assessment, cost estimate and performance design specifications have already been drawn up by design consultant dar-al-hanasah (Shair and Partners), a process that has been ongoing since 2004.
- The company said the project aims to alleviate the capital's congestion and is comprised of two LRT lines along Olaya Street (north-south) and Prince Abdullah Road (east-west). Components include a mixed alignment; at-grade, elevated and underground; with 40 stations, transportation centre, depot, and park-and-ride facilities.
- The company's services have included GIS-based screening modelling of air-borne noise and ground-borne vibration, and providing input to the multi-criteria analytic framework for evaluating the option alignments.
- The new metro is seen as vital for solving the Saudi capital’s chronic traffic problems. According to studies carried out by ADA nearly 85% of the population of Riyadh uses private cars as their primary mode of transport, with a mere 2% taking advantage of a very limited public transport system.
- The deadline for submission for applications for prequalification is June 20.
- In November 2010 the first phase of Saudi Arabia's first metro system, an 18.1km elevated alignment in Mecca, was completed by the China Railways Construction Corporation. A project study was completed last year (2011) for a 108km three-line metro system in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second city, though the long-awaited tender process has not yet begun.
- In neighbouring Qatar, Qatar Railways is currently evaluating bids submitted by 18 consortia for five tunnelling and station construction packages for the Doha metro. Phase 1 is expected to comprise 49km of TBM-excavated twin running tunnels as part of an eventual four-phase US$35 billion project that will see 358km of new track laid across a mixture of at-grade, elevated and underground alignments.
Qatar drives forward with Doha metro - TunnelTalk, December 2011
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