Birco inks drainage deal for the Khorfakkan tunnel
Journey time is expected to be shortened by 30 minutes between Khorfakkan and Sharjah when the project is completed in 2019
German drainage system supplier Birco Middle East has bagged the contract for The Shis to Khorfakkan Road and Tunnels project, the longest rock tunnel through the mountains of the east coast.
The project consists of a 23.2km dual carriageway road skirting the edge of the Omani border through mountainous terrain. The road also passes through five rock tunnels totalling 13km.
Journey time is expected to be shortened by 30 minutes between Khorfakkan and Sharjah when the project is completed in 2019, with the hope this will aid economic development within Sharjah as the link will further encourage the use of Khorfakkan port, bypassing the Straits of Hormuz.
Lead consultant Halcrow is responsible for concept design and route selection, preliminary and detailed design of the road, rock tunnels and drainage culverts, detailed MEP design, all technical studies and assessments, value engineering and risk management, and construction supervision.
With an estimated cost of $650m for the whole project, contractors General Mechanical (GMC) and Gulf Rock Engineering have been assigned to tunnel 1 and 4 to undertake the tunnel excavation and support.
Frank Wagner, CEO of the company, told Construction Week: "This is our largest project in the Middle East. We are very excited to be associated with the project."
"Currently we are working on tunnel 1 and tunnel 4 for the project. We are hopeful for the other two tunnels as well," he added.
Birco established its Middle Eastern subsidiary in 2013 and in the past two years, the firm has succeeded in securing supply contracts for a selection of high-profile regional projects.