Saudi Arabia’s Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) plans to issue tender documents during the first quarter of next year for construction contracts on its $3bn Riyadh light rail transit (LRT) network.

According to sources working ont he project ADA plans to ask contractors to compete for design and build contracts rather than traditional construction contracts . The design and build system is often used to minimise the project risk for the owner and to reduce the delivery time as the design and construction phases overlap.

ADA has already started construction work on the project and it has almost completed enabling works on line two. This involves site clearing and excavation. ADA also plans to set up a bus network that will feed into the LRT system next year.

The LRT network will have two lines. The first line will be a 25km north-south line with 23 stations and line two will be a 14km line stretching east to west across the city with 13 stations. No further lines are planned at this stage, the source said.

The consultancy team working on the project includes Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah, French consultancy Semaly, Omrania and Associates of Saudi Arabia and Canada’s IBI Group.

Spain’s railway equipment supplier CAF signed a $163m contract in mid-November with the Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) to deliver eight train cars in three years for use on the metro.

The project is expected to be fully completed by 2017.