Moving a capital city forward

Chapter 1: Finding common global solutions

Author: Monica Miller Rodgers, May 2016 

In a country where 20 deaths a day are contributed to vehicular accidents, a public transportation system could translate into saved lives. In the capital city of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest construction projects in history is underway now to provide just such a resource.

With 90 per cent of the nearly 6 million population in the city using cars, a sustainable public transportation system was desperately needed. The current public transportation system, though, was close to nonexistent with no metro and no bus lines travelling inside the city. In 2014, ground was broken to begin the Riyadh Metro Project with an ambitious due date of late 2018.

The city’s first rail metro will have six lines with 85 stations covering 176 kilometres with about 40 per cent of the lines underground. The metro will be able to move up to 3 million passengers a day. All together, the project comes in at an approximate 20.1 billion Euros.

Finding common global solutions

To build one of the largest infrastructure construction projects in the world, it took a multicultural team. Three multinational consortiums are working together on the project, combining companies from around the world.

FAST Consortium, led by FCC Construccion from Spain with Freyssinet of Saudi Arabia, Atkins of England, Alstom and Setec from France, Samsung C&T from South Korea, Typsa also of Spain, and Strukton of The Netherlands, was contracted to construct and design Lines 4 (Yellow), 5 (Green) and 6 (Purple) of the metro. The project oversees 64.6km of the rail track, 29.8km of viaducts and 24 stations at an overall cost of 7.1 billion Euros.

Construction of these three lines is overseen by three partners in the Consortium: FCC Construccion, Samsung C&T and Strukton. Each line has a dedicated survey team with all using solutions from Leica Geosystems.

Strukton, in charge of Line 6 (Purple), has been tasked with capturing data for topographic surveys, as-built checks, volume calculation, and inventory of existing utilities. The technology company specialising in rail systems and civil infrastructure is also in charge of stakeouts for construction and deviation monitoring.

“Though these are typical tasks for us, the sheer size of the project is new for us,” said Clemens Tierie, survey manager for Strukton. “Only on Line 6, I have 28 teams with more than 10 nationalities represented.”

With such a diverse mix, Tierie needed to find common solutions familiar to all the team members. He found that in Leica Geosystems. Using a combination of total stations, GNSS receivers, and construction lasers and levels combined with measurement software, the Strukton team is well on its way to completing the project on time and on budget.

“Surveying is teamwork, and surveyors from all across the world know and appreciate Leica Geosystems solutions,” said Tierie.

Explore next chapter: Racing against the elements

Story: Moving a capital city forward
Chapter 1: Finding common global solutions
Chapter 2: Racing against the elements
Chapter 3: Worldwide support

Reporter 74 - May 2016

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