ACCIONA and Gülermak, jointly responsible for the civil engineering in the ExpoLink consortium, have completed 50% of main tunneling works of Route 2020 project for the Dubai Metro Red Line extension.
On Feb. 3, the “Wugeisha EXPO 2020″ tunnel boring machine (TBM) arrived at the future “Jumeirah Golf Estates” underground station. The TBM commenced tunnel drilling works at Al Furjan and passed under Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road before reaching the underground station in Jumeirah Golf Estates. It will continue tunneling works up to the Dubai Investments Park (DIP).
The tunnel begins in Nakheel’s Al Furjan area and covers 3.2 km to DIP’s The Green Community, at a depth of between 12.5 and 36 m. For the excavation, ACCIONA and Gulermak are using a 9.66-m diameter, 100-m long TBM designed and manufactured in Germany, named “Wugeisha EXPO 2020.”
In two and a half months, the TBM advanced at an average of 13 m a day, with up to 28 m of tunnel completed in a single workday.
To reduce completion times, the TBM was pre-assembled outside the access shaft, with final assembly completed onsite. A new method was also used to begin tunneling very close to the surface, avoiding the use of deep access shafts and incorporating significant innovations in the manufacture of the lining rings to prevent water filtration.
The cutter head has 56 cutters and can grind rock and penetrate layers of sand or soil of any type. It is an environmentally friendly machine that has no negative impacts on the layers of earth surrounding the boring site.
The Route 2020 Project is technically very complex and the BIM methodology is being applied to every aspect of the design and execution phases.
It will add 15 km to the Dubai Metro Red Line, from Nakheel Harbour and Tower station to the Expo 2020 grounds. The project comprises 11.8 km of viaduct and the construction of seven stations (two underground), including the Nakheel Harbour interchange station and the emblematic iconic Metro station located at the Expo grounds.
Completion rate in the construction of stations ranges from 4 to 42%
Currently the architectural and electromechanical designs are being developed for Expo Station, elevated and underground stations, and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station. Completion rate in the underground station at Jumeirah Golf Estates reached 42%, whereas the completion rate of the underground station at DIP reached 8%. The completion rate reached 14% in the elevated station at Al Furjan, 12% in the elevated stations at the Gardens, Al Furjan and the Discovery Gardens, 7% in Expo Station, and 3% in Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station. Completion rate reached 50% in the deep foundations of Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station. The footbridge linking the station and the Park-N-Ride Terminal has been removed to start construction works in the new station.
ACCIONA and Gülermak have completed construction works in the deep foundations and pillars at the Gardens area. Work is currently underway in the manufacturing of the metal structures of the elevated station at the Discovery Garden, where completion rate reached 35%. Works started in casting reinforced concrete for the foundations of the main building of Expo Station. The completion rate of casting concrete pillars of Expo Station exceeded 70%. The completion rate in the construction of pillars and walls of the Western gate of the station exceeded 90% and 40% in the Eastern Gate. As for the installation of viaduct segments, about 60 of viaduct segments have been installed in various parts of the project.
The work progress in Route 2020 Project is moving according to the approved time chart.
All the tunnelling works will be completed by December 2018 and construction work on the Metro’s viaducts will be completed in November this year. All rail works in the Route 2020 project will be completed before summer 2019 and system dynamic tests with trains will begin during summer 2019.
In 2016, the ExpoLink consortium, led by the French company Alstom, together with Spanish company ACCIONA and the Turkish company Gülermak JV, signed the contract to design and extend the Dubai Metro Red Line and modernize the existing systems with Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).
The project has a total budget of €2.6 billion (AED 10.6 billion). ACCIONA and Gülermak JV are executing the civil engineering works, which represent 50% of the project. Meanwhile, Alstom is undertaking the other half of the project, which includes supplying 50 Metropolis trains, integrating the whole Metro systems and improving the existing Metro lines.