Parsons had 310 staff on $1bn Dubai Tram project

Engineering company was part of a joint venture consisting of main contractor Belhasa Six Construct and transportation firm Alstom that delivered phase one last week

NEWS, Projects, DUBAI TRAM, Parsons

Parsons has revealed it had more than of 300 employees deployed on the first phase of the AED3.7bn ($1bn) Dubai Tram which went into operation in Dubai last week.

The engineering company was part of a joint venture consisting of main contractor Belhasa Six Construct and transportation firm Alstom that delivered the civil work and rolling stock for the 10.6km-long route that stretches along Al Sufouh Road and consists of 11 stations (JBR 1, JBR 2, JLT, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, Marina Towers, Mina Siyahi, Dubai Media City, The Palm Jumeirah, Knowledge Village and Safouh).

Dubai Tram was inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on 11 November and went into operation the following day.

Parsons was working as a designer for Belhasa Six Construct and its full scope of work consisted of an urban integration study, station context planning, traffic operations study, utilities design and authority approvals, electromechanical design works for all stations, roads design for Dubai Marina, JBR and Sufouh areas including traffic diversions, and structures design (eleven stations, one depot, 2.5km viaduct strengthening of two Dubai Marina bridges), landscaping and irrigation, cycle track along Tram route).

A spokesperson said: “310 Parsons employees have been deployed to the project throughout its course and 140 at its peak.”

Major project challenges have included tram integration into existing urban environment, the tight construction schedule, and fast track design schedule given it was a design and build contract.

Parsons said it initially approached all of the services authorities in Dubai for approval to relocate or protect utilities for the purpose of inserting the tram in Dubai Marina and Sufouh area. In addition, it started the project by working on the Traffic Operations study and Urban Integration Study for the 11 km tram route. Parsons followed up with a station context planning report for all 11 stations before carrying out the preliminary design, final design and issued for construction drawings for roads, utilities, structures, landscaping, and MEP.

A major value engineering performed in this project included the assessment, repair and strengthening of the existing two 120m span roadway bridge crossing the Dubai Marina canal to sustain the new tram loads in their median instead of building new bidges.

“This major design modification has also great reduction on the carbon footprint which take into consideration the energy/environmental and sustainability resources,” said the spokesperson.

Another value engineering was the relocation of the original tram route from the service road side at JBR to the median.

“This proposal reduced the number of intersections between the tram and the vehicles, thus reducing travel time, improving reliability and safety. This was done in consultation with the Rail Agency and the client’s engineer,” she added.

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