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Dubai Municipality's deep tunnel 65% built, to open before Expo 2020

Municipality reveals four million man-hours have been invested in the $681m project that will serve an area of 490km

Dubai's deep tunnel project will open in 2020.
Dubai Municipality
Dubai's deep tunnel project will open in 2020.

Dubai’s deep tunnel project to drain rainwater in the Dubai South's Airport City and from other areas close to Expo 2020 Dubai will be completed by September 2020, a month before the next World Expo kicks off on 20 October 2020, the municipality said after director general Dawoud Al Hajri inspected the $680.6m (AED2.5bn) tunnel, on which construction is 65% complete.

The project is 10.5km long and will serve an area spanning 490km. Al Hajri said site activities were being carried out in various shifts for 24 hours every day, with four million man-hours invested in the project to date. 

Eng Fahd Al Awadhi, director of the drainage projects department at Dubai Municipality, said one of the drilling machines had reached Sheikh Zayed Road's 8th Intersection, where it would be extracted, dismantled, and reassembled to move to the 7th Intersection.

The final stage of drilling of the tunnel will begin at the 7th Interchange and reach the tunnel's pumping station, located within reclaimed land across Dubai World Ports. This stage is due for completion by early-2020.

Al Awadhi added: “The work continues on two tasks – the first tunnel, which has reached about 4.5km so far, and the second task, which includes the construction of the main pumping station – in a parallel system.

"The three final foundation stages will see the use of about 55,000 cement pieces in the tunnel, each weighing two tons, along with the installation of 4,400 huge metal rings, ensuring the immunity and strength of the deep tunnel.”

The Middle East's largest tunnel boring and drilling machines have been brought in for the project, which Al Hajri said was a major growth avenue for Dubai.

He added in an official statement: “The first of its kind project in the Middle East and one of the most prominent specialised tunnels in the world, [...] launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, [this project] is the latest infrastructure development in the emirate using the best technology.”

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019