The tunnel boring machine, called Al Wugesha, can crush stones and penetrate through sandy layers or any other soil components encountered during the drilling process. Image Credit: RTA

Dubai: A 3.2-km tunnel that forms part of Route 2020 in Dubai, and would take the Dubai Metro to the Expo 2020 venue has been completed, it was announced on Saturday.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, announced the completion of key tunnelling works of Route 2020 Project stretching 3.2 km at a depth ranging from 12 to 36 meters. 

“The tunnel-drilling works commenced last October as the giant Tunnel Boring Machine, branded ‘Al Wugeisha Expo 2020’, started off Discovery Gardens and reached the underground station nearby Jumeirah Golf Estates, last February," he said.

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"The drilling works then continued past the Dubai Investment Park, and up to the final point at the Green Community,” he added.

Shaikh Mohammad launched in October 2017 the drilling work on the Route 2020, the extension of Dubai Metro's Red Line to Dubai Expo 2020 venue. Completion of 3.2km drilling work was announced by the Roads and Transport Authority on Saturday, June 30.  Photo: Dubai Media Office

“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.

"At the back of the cavity, there are hydraulic levers to support the propulsion of the drilling part to the front during the drilling process.

"It is also fitted with a machine for removing the soil, 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, each ring measures about 1.5 m in diameter." 

Environment friendly

“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,” he added.

Al Tayer was delighted with the progress of Route 2020 Project according to the 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.