Al Tayer inspects the tunnelling on the Route 2020 project.

Al Tayer inspects the tunnelling on the Route 2020 project.

Route 2020 is on track

April 2018

More than 50 per cent of the tunnelling work on the Route 2020 project – which extends the existing Dubai Metro Red Line to the Expo 2020 site – has been completed, according to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The route, which is estimated to cost Dh10.6 billion ($2.89 billion), spans 15 km from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station up to the Expo 2020 site and consists of 11.8 km of elevated guideways and 3.2 km of tunnels with depths varying from 12 to 36 m. 

Work on the project also includes construction of seven LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold stations consisting of one interchange station, three elevated stations, two underground stations, and the special-event Expo Iconic Station – work on which ranges from four to 42 per cent complete. The existing metro network will also be upgraded.

The design-and-build contract for the project was awarded by the RTA to a consortium of Alstom Transport, Acciona Infraestructuras and Gulermak.

A giant tunnel boring machine ‘Al Wugeisha Expo 2020’ began drilling work at Al Furjan and has now gone past the Discovery Gardens and reached the underground station near Jumeirah Golf Estates last February, the RTA says. It will continue tunnelling work up to the Dubai Investment Park and all the tunnel-related work is scheduled for completion in December this year.

“Currently, the architectural, constructional and electromechanical designs are being developed for the Expo Station, the elevated and underground stations, and the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station,” remarks Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA. “The completion rate of the underground station at Jumeirah Golf Estates has reached 42 per cent whereas at DIP it has reached eight per cent.”

The elevated station at Al Furjan has reached 14 per cent completion, while the station at Discovery Gardens, Expo Station, and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station are 12, seven and three per cent complete, respectively.

The deep foundations of the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station are 50 per cent complete. The footbridge linking the station and the Park-N-Ride Terminal has been removed to start construction work in the new station, says Al Tayer.

The project contractor has completed construction work on the deep foundations and pillars at the Gardens area. Work is currently under way on fabricating the metal structures of the elevated station at Discovery Gardens, where the completion rate has reached 35 per cent, he adds.

Expressing delight at the work progress of the Route 2020 Project, Al Tayer says it is moving on schedule. “The first of the new metro carriages are expected to arrive in July this year,” he says.

Construction works on the viaducts are expected to be completed by November 2018, while all the rail works of Route 2020 will be ready in 2019. The RTA will start the test-run of the metro in February 2020, he adds.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF) has announced the successful completion of a 17-year financing of Dh9 billion ($2.45 billion), to complete the construction of Route 2020 project, a Wam news agency report said.

 Expected to generate significant social and economic benefits, the project will facilitate the passenger traffic, including the Expo visitors in the areas served.

 The transaction consists of a 17-year, Dh5.2-billion loan supported by comprehensive guarantees from the French export credit agency, Bpifrance Assurance Export (BPIAE) and the Spanish export credit agency (CESCE), amortising over 14 years commencing in 2020 and a 10-year conventional facility of Dh4 billion, amortising over six years commencing in 2022. 

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