A subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corporation has been chosen to excavate five kilometers of road tunnels near the city of Madinah (Medina) in the Hijaz region. Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, selected China Railway 18th Bureau Group, based in Qatar, for the $970 million contract.
The project aims to improve access to Madinah, Islam’s second holiest city after Makkah. The AH tunnel, the Ali Bin Abi Talib tunnel, and the airport tunnel are all included in the scope of works. Completion is scheduled for 42 months.
One of the objectives of this project is to relieve congestion on the King Faisal Ring Road in the city centre by expanding the capacity of the Al Amida route, which will be renovated and enlarged from four to six lanes.
The project aims to improve access to Madinah, Islam’s second holiest city
WSP, a Canadian engineering company, and Parsons, a US-based firm, are two of the project’s consultants.
Chen Debin, the General Manager of the Saudi office of China Railway 18th Bureau Group, explained: “With the signing of the Madinah Tunnel Infrastructure Development Project Contract, we have entered the Saudi sovereign fund investment market and will now demonstrate our Chinese power in quality development.
The Al Amida route will be renovated and enlarged from four to six lanes
“As an important religious and cultural centre in Saudi Arabia, we will build local infrastructure in Madinah with higher quality skills and higher standards to demonstrate China’s strength.”
The Makkah Light Rail, the North-South Railway, and the Makkah–Madinah High-speed Railway are among the Saudi rail projects for which the company has previously been selected.