Algiers metro comes back to life

11 April 2003
Eight international groups have submitted bids to Entreprise Metro d'Alger (EMA) for a civils contract to build a 4.5-kilometre tunnel and four stations on the Algiers metro system. EMA is studying the technical bids and expects to open commercial offers in the second half of May. The award of the 30-month contract is expected in the third quarter.

The four stations to be built are between Hamma and Hai el-Badr. The system presently consists of two separate sections of track, one stretching west from Hamma to Emir Abdelkader while the other links Hai el-Badr to the main depot. The proposed new section will join the two stretches up and is essential for the metro's operation.

The government first unveiled plans in 1981 to build an underground transit system in Algiers, but the project foundered due to budget constraints. Between 1986 and 1990 work on the project stopped altogether. Construction resumed in the 1990s, with local companies Cosider and Genie-Sider selected to build the tunnels and stations, but financial and technological difficulties persisted and work was further hindered by a ban on the use of explosives due to the deteriorating security situation (MEED 26:7:96).

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