Line 3 of the Cairo Metro: excavation in full swing
18 November 2016

Line 3 of the Cairo Metro: excavation in full swing

The extension of line 3 of the Cairo metro is making rapid progress: on 27 October, after 199 days of continuous excavation at a record pace in the Cairo subsoil, the tunnel boring machine reached the station Alf Maskan.

Extension of line 3

Work on line 3 of the Cairo Metro is fully underway. While last spring, SYSTRA signed a contract for the construction of phase 3 of line 3 situated to the west, the Group is also working to the East on phase 4, which involves extending the line from its current terminus, the station Haroun, to the Ring Road and ultimately to Cairo International Airport. Phase 4 is divided into three stages, 4A and 4B, for a total length of 16.6km, which are currently under construction, and will ultimately be followed by 4C (about 10km).

SYSTRA’s central role

SYSTRA is the Consultant for the design of all the Phases 4A and 4B, and participated together with the Egyptian NAT (National Authority of Tunnels) in the attribution of public works contracts. These contracts were won for Phase 4A by a Franco-Egyptian joint venture, formed by Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Arab Contractor and Orascom Industries. Whereas the Phase 4B was won by an Egyptian joint venture formed by Arab Contractor and Orascom Industries.

19 precast rings laid in one day

At 5,105m in length, phase 4A involves the excavation of a new tube between Haroun and the future stations El Nozha 1 and 2. On 4 October 2016, a speed record was achieved with progress of 28.2 m/day and the laying of 19 precast rings. Progress at full speed which, on 27 October, made it possible to reach the location of the future intermediary station of Alf Maskan. Only 199 days were needed to achieve this distance, which accounts for 40% of the length of Phase 4A, or 1,811m.

The variable density tunnel boring machine used for the excavation work bores over a diameter of 9.489 m. Its journey started in April 2016, after assembly of the machine. Whenever progress is made in the tunnel, 8 precast concrete voussoirs are required, forming a tunnel with a final diameter of 9.15m. The excavation is carried out in 4 different subsoils, including two layers of sand and one layer of clay. With no steep slope, the stratigraphy of the layers is, like the surface topography, horizontal.

SYSTRA and the Cairo Metro, more than 45 years of trust

It was in 1970 that Egypt awarded SYSTRA the contract for the design of the Cairo Metro, the first metro on the African continent. Present in the first two phases of line 3, which entered service in 2011 (phase 1) and then in 2014 (phase 2), the Group continues to be involved in the challenge of transporting the citizens of Greater Cairo since on 18 April 2016, a new contract for phase 3 of Line 3 of the Metro was signed. This involves an extension covering 15 stations over 18km, with two branches.

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Situated to the east, phase 4, which began in 2015, involves 10 new stations to be progressively opened on Line 3 between April 2018 and October 2019. Upon completion of Phase 3, Line 3 will then have a total of 39 stations and cover a total distance of 48km.

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