A newly appointed contractor has said construction on the northern-most portion of the Doha Metro will start by the end of December, the latest milestone in Qatar’s massive rail roll-out.
South Korean firm Lotte Engineering & Construction said it was part of a consortium selected to build a 6.7km section of the Red Line North, according to a report in The Korea Economic Daily.
Other companies involved in the joint venture include Italian company Rizzani de Eccher and Qatar’s Redco.
The total value of the project is worth $609 million, the report added.
According to Qatar Rail, the joint venture had been pre-qualified to design and build the elevated and ground-level portion of the Red Line North that runs from Lusail Center – where passengers can transfer to a separate light-rail line – to the Doha Golf Club, where the metro starts to run underground.
The Korean media report said the project would take 43 months to complete, or until mid-2018.
Months of testing are expected to commence once construction is completed. Qatar Rail has previously said that the the first phase of the Doha Metro would open to passengers in 2019.
Construction of the Doha Metro appears to be in full swing in many areas, where work crews have taken over entire city blocks with heavy machinery surrounded by tall, gray metal fences bearing Qatar Rail’s logo.
In some cases, work has led to lane closures or entire roads being blocked off – something transportation authorities say will continue to be a reality for motorists, who should expect to face traffic snarls for the next three to four years.
Officials hope Doha’s rapid transit system will take some of the pressure off the city’s roads when the first phase opens in five years. At that time, some 37 stations along four lines are expected to be operational:
- The Red Line North, running from a connection with Lusail’s light-rail line to Msheireb via West Bay;
- The Red Line South, running from Msheireb to Hamad International Airport;
- The Green Line, running from Al Rayyan Stadium to Msheireb via Education City; and
- The Gold Line, running from Villaggio Mall to the area around the old Doha International Airport, via Msheireb.
The Doha Metro is one of three separate rail projects planned for Qatar.
In addition to the 37-station Lusail LRT that contractors say will begin operating in 2018, construction of a long-distance rail and freight line is scheduled to start late next year and run between Education City and Saudi Arabia in its initial phase.