launch backward

'The Dubai Metro Rapid Link Project in the United Arabs Emirates'

From October 2004 to November 2009 I worked in Dubai (UAE) on the Dubai Metro Project for ‘VSL Switzerland LTD Special Project Department (CEME)’ After completion of the project in Hongkong, VSL transferred me to the Special Project Department (CEME) in Switzerland who send me first to Jordan/Amman and than to Tunisia/Tunis as Technical Advisor and than to Dubai (UAE) where I worked as General Senior Superintendent in charge.

The Dubai Metro Project a US $120 million (AED32.7 million) contract to build a viaduct to carry one part of Dubai’s light rail transit (LRT) system. The VSL unit, which specializes in the construction of bridges, using 9 brand new state of art ‘Deal Overhead Launching Gantries' on the Red Line a 52.1-kilometer (32.4-mile) line with 29 stations from Jebel Ali Port, the American University in Dubai, through the city center, and to the Airport Free Zone. The work, being carried out in a joint venture with the French counterpart of VSL Freyssinet International and Italian-based Rizzani de Eccher and will result in two separate lines. The contract includes to build a viaduct on a second LRT line, the Green Line a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) line with 22 stations from Festival City, through the city center, and the Dubai International Airport Terminals 1 and 3, to Rashidiya.. The red and green line together have a length of approximate 70 km.

Here at the VFR-Joint Venture I work as ‘General Senior Superintendent in charge for the assembling and erection of the ‘Deal Overhead Launching Gantries’ and later the erection of the superstructure respectively to train the operating crew in all methods related to the erection, launching of the Machine and stressing of the Pre-Cast Segments and planing and execute of the heavy lifting on site.

The Project started early 2006 with the building of the pre-cast yard. A yard of 54,0000m2 where in 55 moulds 11,730 No. of Concrete Segments was made only for the Red Line. A total of 250,000m3 of concrete 54,000 ton of rebar was used. On some days we produced up to 44 pre-cast-segments.
The yard had a capacity to store up to 2,500 of those concrete segments and 9 Tower Cranes and 11 Gantry Cranes was erected under my supervision to carry out the work and storage. The segments where moved from the Jebel Ali Yard to the erection site with 44 No. of special heavy weight trailers.

1036 Spans was erected by 9 Launching Gantries on the Red Line only and this in less than 19 month and 447 Spans on the Green Line. The Dubai Metro Project had also to build 16 No. of so called 3-Span Bridges. The 3 Spans of the bridge where 44m plus 72m plus 44m long spans erected in cantilever method with special lifting frames and heavy lifting Cranes with lifting capacity of 300tons to lift the pier segments in place.

More than 100 spans was built on Falswork system and erected also with heavy lifting mobile and crawler cranes up to 500 ton capacity. The Falswork was made from RMS System and hydraulic Jack on which the segments was aligned and than post tension stressed.

One of our highest challenges was the traffic management. Not only to feed all the 9 Launching Gantries, Lifting Frames and Falswork sites with the needed amount of segments with 'only' 44 trailers was difficult. Also the very heavy traffic in Dubai with rush hour about 20 hours the day. Road construction, deviations, heavy vehicle ban time, traffic jam and road closers, interference of other road building projects. All that difficult made us work mostly in the night time.

Key Data: Dubai Metro Rapid Link Project
Project Contractor: Mitsubishi Corparation
Pricipal Work Contractors Superstructure: VSL Freyssinet Rizzani JV
Main Consultant: Atkins (DURL's Design Consultant )
Main Contractor: Systra-Parsons JV (The Engineer)
Structural-erection, PT and
construction engineering:
VSL Switzerland Special Projects International, Freyssinet, Rizzani
Superstructure Subcontractor: VSL Switzerland Special Projects International, Freyssinet, Rizzani
Cost: AED 12.45 billion/US$ 3.4 billion
Project: Elevated Viaduct System in Segmetal Erection
Completion Superstructure Red and Green line: October 2009

From May 2006 until August 2008 we had on the Red Line of the Dubai Metro Project up to 3000 labor with a nearly accident free time of 11 Million man hours working. For the Green Line we redused that amount of work force a "little bit". Here is a PDF File The Dubai Metro Rapid Link Project (Red Line only). Have a look at it, it shows a few of nice pictures of the construction work which I was in charge and part of.

After the successful completion of the Red and Green Line, the Dubai Metro Project faced the problem that on some of the piers which was build near the Dubai Creek. A few of the column foundations was giving by under the load of the Launching Gantry + the Span on witch the Gantry stand on during erection + the next erected Span. The Engineer liked us to carry out a load test on all piers along the Creek eara.
For a couple of month now we moved with our Launchers on top of the erected Viaduct along and loaded the Launching Machine with additional, extra for this purpose made Segments (each 75ton), to test, and if, measure the sinking of the piers.
Here is the procedure.
The Dubai Metro Rapid Link Project LG3 load test load-sequence (Green Line)

The majority of the Spans were constructed by the use of the Overhead Launching Gantries.
See the Video (klick the picture on the right 45MB)
The temporary loading from the Launching Gantries used on the scheme was designed to undertake the gantries loads included the loading configuration for the next span precast elements and also the unloaded case when the Launching Gantry was subject to stronger winds. In may cases to reach the next erection location, the Self Launching Gantries were also required to travel over the previously constructed deck or over the balanced cantilever three-span continuous bridges and the load of these conditions needed to be designed. Precast deck segments were mostly erected from the Gantry location at ground level direcly for the transport trailer, but in some cases where access was more difficult, segments were delivered over the previously constructed deck using special transporters from behind under the end of the Lifting Maschine. The additional load effects from these cases on permanent works also needed to be considered in the detailed design.

The Dubai Metro System have modern trains with air-condition and all stations are air-conditioned too (underground an elevated stations). The 5 car train is 75m long and have standard class, women and children only sections, and of course an exclusive first class section. The Red Line and the Green Line operate on fully automated (driverless) trains. When the Green Line is in operation it will together with the red line become the longest fully automated rail system in the world.

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Created on ... June 26, 2010
copyright © Uwe Baier