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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 01:00

The $23.5 billion Riyadh Metro will revolutionize the way the city’s residents get around

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
Men at the construction site of the Riyadh Metro on May 4. Men at the construction site of the Riyadh Metro on May 4. Faisal Nasser/Reuters

The Riyadh Metro is a rapid transit system under construction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will be 176 km (109 mi) long with 6 lines and 85 stations, including underground, elevated and at-grade sections. Its construction started in April 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2019, creating about 15,000 jobs in the state. Saudi officials approved the plan in 2012, as the capital’s population is expected to increase by 50% by 2035. The new metro system will fulfil the demands of the growing population, as well as reduce traffic jams and improve air quality.

The metro will be owned and operated by the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) and it is part of the Riyadh Public Transport Project (RPTP), which also includes the construction of a bus network and other transport services in Riyadh. The bus network, which will be 85 km long and connect major locations in Riyadh, will be integrated with the metro with several joint stations. Many international contracting and engineering companies are participating in the construction, with the US-based firm Bechtel having been awarded the largest contract, worth $10 billion. To build the system, Bechtel is using powerful tunnel-boring machines, which weigh 1,000 tons and are called Mneefah, after the horse ridden by Saudi Arabia's founding king. Each machine can tunnel through the earth at a rate of 325 feet per week, laying concrete panels as they go.

Three main stations were designed by different architecture firms from around the world: the Olaya Metro Station, at the intersection of Lines 1 and 2, was designed by Gerber Architekten. The station will feature a public plaza, a large entrance hall and an open concourse. ADA is expected to invest $20m in the station. The architecture firm Snohetta will design the Downtown station (Qasr Al Hokm), located between the Al Madinah Al Munnawarah Street and King Faisal Street which will act as a transport hub for Lines 1 and 3. The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station, located at the east of the Northern Ring Road serving Lines 1, 4 and 6, will be designed and built by Zaha Hadid.

 

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Men at the construction site of the Riyadh Metro on May 4.Faisal Nasser/Reuters

 

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Zaha Hadid Architects

 

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Image source: Bechtel 

 

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Computer-generated designs of Riyadh Metro Lines 1 and 2/ Bechtel

 

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Computer-generated designs of Riyadh Metro Lines 1 and 2/ Bechtel

 

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Computer-generated designs of Riyadh Metro Lines 1 and 2/ Bechtel

 

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Computer-generated designs of Riyadh Metro Lines 1 and 2/ Bechtel

 

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