Regeneration of Riyadh to start in 2009

11 July 2008
Riyadh is set to have a SR7.5bn ($2bn) redevelopment approved early in 2009, once the go-ahead is given for a new light rail system in the city.

According to a source at the ArRiyadh Development Authority (ADA) that is responsible for the regeneration scheme, a study for the project, known as the Olaya-Batha corridor, has already been completed.

Before the project goes ahead, the ADA will need to decide whether to approve a light rail transit (LRT) system, which is seen as central to the wider project. If this is approved as expected, tenders for the Olaya-Batha corridor will follow.

"The study is concluded now and this included provision for the LRT," says the source.

"We are waiting for the endorsement of the light rail system and once we get it approved, this corridor will be developed. We will not start until we get the LRT approved," he adds. "We are hoping to get final word early next year and then begin tendering straight away."

The corridor runs for 40 kilometres, from 5km outside the northern ring road, through the city centre and ending 5km beyond the southern ring road. The LRT system will run for 25km within the planned corridor.

The Olaya-Batha corridor plan includes improving the urban environment, including landscaping, turning some areas into pedestrianised zones and upgrading the retail areas.

The local Omrania & Associates is a consultant on the project.

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