MEED MENA Rail & Metro Summit told tunnel boring on Riyadh metro to start in three-months

Conrad Dubai, 22 October 2014. The boring of the first parts of the 73.4 kilometres of tunnels in the $20bn Riyadh Metro project is due to start in three-four months, the MEED MENA Rail & Metro Summit was told this morning.

The Riyadh Metro will have six lines with 176 kilometres of track and 85 stations. It is designed to cover most of the populated areas of the Saudi  capital, the largest city in Arabia with a population of about 6 million people. The project involves delivering a bus system.

The project is due for completion and to start operating in 2018.

“The delivery of the system in a city like Riyadh presents many challenges,” said Arriyadh Development Authority director of construction development projects and Riyadh Metro project director Walid Alekrish said. “It will be an intrusion in their daily lives. What we are setting out to do is minimize the disruption. Additionally, one of our goals is to get support from the public.”

The first road diversions in Riyadh came into effect earlier in October around sites of the first construction work, Alekrish said.

The tunnels account for about 42 per cent of the Metro network and most of this will done by TBM with a small portion by cut and cover, Alekrish said. Viaducts will account for 48 per cent of the network. The average span will be about 30 metres. There will be three types of stations: elevated, underground to the depth of 30 metres and at-grade.  Four of the stations will be iconic.

Other elements of the project will be five transfer stations and 25 park and ride locations that will

“The capacity is about 1,160,000 passengers a day,” Alekrish said. “The ultimate capacity is 3.6m passengers a day.