ARCADIS, a natural and built asset design and consultancy firm, has started work on a $22.3 million USD contract to design and coordinate the architectural finishes for 10 of the 13 new underground stations being built as part of the massive Oman Rail project, the deisel-powered national railway network poised to transform the Gulf region.
Specifically, ARCADIS has been hired by contractor, ALYSJ JV -- a joint venture of several international and local construction and engineering firms -- to provide architectural, branding, design and construction consultancy services, as well as the associated mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems and structural and landscape design for the Gold Line metro line in Doha, Qatar.
The Gold Line is one of four lines being developed in this first phase of the 10-year Oman Rail project, which is slated to become a key geostrategic multi-modal shipping hub connecting the GCC, East Africa, Asia and Europe.
For its part, ARCADIS also has been involved on comparable activities for the project’s Red Line South metro line, also in Doha, according to Joost Slooten, director of investor relations for ARCADIS, which is based in Amsterdam, has numerous offices worldwide, and trades on the Euronext as ARCAD.
The design phase for the 10 stations is expected to take ARCADIS about a year to complete, with construction support lasting an additional 24 months, according to Slooten. The three remaining stations of the 13 stations on the Gold Line have been priced separately and they may be assigned to ARCADIS later, he added.
The total $3.57 billion USD contract includes 32km (almost 20 miles) of bored tunnel along with the 13 underground stations, which will be fitted with high-end architectural finishes, state-of-the-art MEP systems, service buildings, tunnels and entrances, landscaping and traffic and utilities work, Slooten said.
During a recent webinar on the Oman Rail, John Lesniewski, the team’s chief commercial officer, said the project is being built in four phases with awards for phase one contracts being announced now and in July. Phase one construction then is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 or during the first quarter of 2016, he added, with completion of phase one set for 2018. Following that completion, phases two and three will be built in succession.
Lesniewski added that phases two and three will be issued for tender in September or October and offered for nine months.
Eventually, the Oman Rail will stretch 2244 km (roughly 1,394 miles) and will help elevate the Sultanate’s role as a key freight and passenger hub connecting major regions outside the congested, expensive, and risky Strait of Hormuz, Lesniewski said.