The Saudi government has approved EUR13.15bn of spending to overhaul the transport network of Mecca (or Makkah). The plans include developing in three phases 123 km-long bus and 182 km-long metro networks. The budget allocated for the three-year first phase is EUR5.41bn, and for the five-year second phase, EUR4.03bn. The third and final stage will take two years to complete for a cost of EUR3.71 bn.
AlBalad AlAmeen Company (BAC) is working with an advisory team of Ernst & Young, Ashurst and Parsons Brinckerhoff to develop the procurement packages for the first stage of the system, including rail infrastructure, railway systems, rolling stock, depot and operations. The expressions of interest for stage 1 are anticipated by the end of this year. Construction of an urban mass rail transit system for the holy city of Mecca is slated to start in 2013.
The Mecca Mass Rail Transit (MMRT) project will involve the construction of four new metro lines with 88 stations and will integrate with other rail projects serving the city. Stage 1 will include the construction of sections of Lines B and C. Line B section will be 10 km-long with six new stations, and will be mainly underground. It will be an extension of the existing Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah rail line and will connect to the new Haramain high-speed rail station west of Makkah city.
Line C will be 29 km-long with 14 new stations, and will be constructed in a combination of tunnels and viaducts. The other two Lines, A and D, will be constructed in future stages. Visit www.meed.com. 35/12.