Tunnel will run for 3.2km, at a depth ranging from 12m to 36m
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has completed all major tunnelling works related to the Route 2020 Project, stretching 3.2km at a depth ranging from 12 metres to 36 metres.
According to Mattar Al Tayer, the director general and chairman of the board of executive directors for the RTA, the tunnel drilling works commenced in October 2017, with the giant Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), branded ‘Al Wugeisha Expo 2020’, starting off at Discovery Gardens and reaching the underground station near Jumeirah Golf Estates in February.
“The drilling works then continued past the Dubai Investment Park, and up to the final point at the Green Community,” said Al Tayer, going on to explain that Al Wugesha can crush stones and penetrate through sandy layers or any other soil components encountered during the drilling process.
“It has a huge metal gear supported by an automated tail and a cutting wheel with a cavity the shape of which varies according to the type of drilling and soil layers,” he outlined.
At the back of the cavity, there are hydraulic levers that support the propulsion of the drilling part to the front during the drilling process, he added.
The TBM is also fitted with a machine that removes the soil, has tubes for discharging the mud, and a control room, in addition to other hi-tech components and features to accelerate the drilling process. The single concrete ring has six to seven moulds, with each ring measuring 1.5 metres in diameter.
“Al Wugesha is also environment-friendly and has no negative effects on land layers nearby the drilling area. Moreover, the tunnels it produces have symmetrical dimensions, which facilitates construction works and reduces the expenses of tunnel wall installation,” Al Tayer said, adding that he was delighted by the progress of the Route 2020 Project, and that it was proceeding according to schedule.
Works in the metro viaducts are set for completion in November this year, and all railway works of the project will be accomplished in July 2019. The trial run of the metro will start in February 2020, the RTA added.