Recently, we were shortlisted as a finalist under the International Project of the Year category by the Ground Engineering Awards 2020 for the innovative and reliable ground support we delivered during the construction of eight pedestrian subways for Doha Metro’s Red Line South.
This year, the virtual awards ceremony will be live-streamed on Wednesday, 4th November 2020 at 2 pm GMT and is open for all to attend by registering online.
With pedestrian safety, a key focus for the country, Qatar Rail’s metro network will have a big impact on the lives of Doha’s population by providing a safe, convenient, and practical service. The Doha Metro Red Line South Underground Project, which encompasses the construction of eight pedestrian subways with a total length of 559m, was particularly challenging for our geotechnical and tunneling team who were tasked to deliver ground support on relatively weak ground. The ground in the subway locations are weak due to possible hollow areas underground, and the subways run across critical utility lines and major highways that need to remain operational. All of these conditions limited the possibility of using available and traditional methods.
Innovation steps in
After consulting with Qatar Rail to understand the specific requirements, our team of experts assessed the ground surface settlement and the stresses that will result from the construction of the subways. To satisfy the Client’s requirement, ARCADIS Team came up with an out-of-the-box innovative solution enabling the excavation and construction of the shallow pedestrian tunnels with minimum disruption to the heavy traffic. Thorough design analysis was undertaken to solve the complex Soil-Structure Interaction problem and the design analysis was completed within the budget and time allocated by Qatar Rail, yet the quality of the output exceeded the client’s expectations.
Based on the results, the team proposed the use of an arched pipe roofing technique to minimize potential ground displacement, ensuring project safety with minimal disruption to traffic. The study also helped identify and mitigate potential failures in the design. Through regular coordination with the construction team and strict monitoring and contingency plans for unforeseen events, the project was delivered according to Qatar Rail’s standards and requirements.
Tayo Roberts, Associate Director – Geotechnical & Tunnelling commented: “Our extensive experience has taught us that conventional methods have their limits, particularly today when client requirements are becoming more complex to support end-users’ needs. At Arcadis, we value innovation and constantly push our boundaries to co-create value. I am delighted that we have successfully demonstrated to Qatar Rail that we can make things possible even if the task seems impossible at first.”
For the commuting population
Three months after Doha Metro opened in 2019, it had already carried more than 1 million passengers. Thousands of them have probably used one of the eight pedestrian subways in the Red Line South route. Thanks to our team’s out-of-the-box thinking, thousands of passengers more will continue to use these subways in the months and years ahead knowing that they are passing through safe and stable walkways.
To contribute to modern tunneling techniques and methods, the project team shared this innovative technique with other Arcadis engineers across the globe and published the design and its applicability at the World Tunnel Conference 2020. Most recently, the ingenious design received a nomination for the International Project of the Year award at the Ground Engineering Awards 2020.
Dr. Mazin Alhamrany, Technical Director – Geotechnical & Tunnelling said: “We adopted an innovative and reliable ground support design method called Umbrella Arch Method to control potential ground movements associated with the excavation activities of the subway’s construction. For such a complex Soil-Structure Interaction problem, 3D Finite Element Analysis was carried out to thoroughly investigate the anticipated ground settlement and the induced stresses. I am proud of our Geotechnical and Tunneling Team for providing such a high standard of creative work, which has been selected as a finalist for the GE Awards 2020 under the International Project of the Year category!”
Mohamad Sayhood, Regional Solutions Director – Water & Environment added: “Being selected as a finalist in the international project of the year category is proof of our dedication for successful and innovative project delivery. We’re proud to contribute a project of this magnitude so that Doha Metro can run as efficiently as possible by ensuring the subterranean environment is ready for the demands of tomorrow.”
For more information about this project, contact Tayo Roberts.
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