Consultancy firms are preparing to bid by 14 February for the contract to undertake a feasibility study for the Mecca-Taif tunnel, according to a source with knowledge of the project .
MEED earlier reported that Saudi Arabia’s Consulting Engineering Group has completed the design work for the 11km Mecca-Taif road tunnel, and submitted the designs to both the Mecca Municipality and the Transport Ministry in January 2017.
The tender for the construction package of the project was expected to be released in late 2017, but this has been delayed. The project is expected to cost up to $500m.
Originally planned in 2009, with the initial design work completed three years later, the tunnel is meant to link Mecca, the kingdom’s and the Islamic world’s holiest city, with Taif, which is commonly referred to as the province’s summer resort capital.
Saudi Arabia is in the process of restructuring its transport sector, with its two rail agencies, the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) and Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO), set to be merged.
In 2016, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) merged with the SRO.
PTA recenty extended the deadline for firms to express interest and respond to a prequalification questionnaire (PQQ) to 23 February for the contract to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the kingdom’s mainline railway networks.
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