According to several senior sources on the scheme, the JT Metro joint venture executing the civil engineering and construction works is seeking an extension to complete the project. ‘The amount of time being discussed is changing, but it is several hundred days,’ says a consultant working on the project. Significant changes in the design of the system are understood to be the reason for discussion. The client, the RTA, has revised the design of the project since the contract was awarded to the Dubai Urban Rail Link (Durl) consortium in 2005, and the contractors are now seeking more time to accommodate these changes. ‘Almost everything has changed except the tunnel diameters and the viaducts,’ says a source on the project. ‘It is very different to the specifications provided in the tender documents.’ However, it is unclear whether an extension will be granted by the RTA. The project is one of the most critical in Dubai as it is required to alleviate the chronic congestion currently experienced on the emirate’s roads. ‘The RTA is adamant that the red line will open on 9 September 2009,’ says the source. ‘So the consortium may be compensated to get it finished on time.’ The RTA denies there has been a request for more time to complete the project. ‘The RTA is not aware of any such request,’ says a spokeswoman. The Durl consortium, which is led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, was awarded the contract to build the light rail system’s red and green lines in June 2005. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is responsible for the rail system, and the JT Metro joint venture, comprised of Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation, both of Japan, and Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi, is executing the construction works. France’s Systra and US-based Parsons International are overseeing the construction (MEED 17:9:07). www.meed.com/construction