With work moving full steam ahead on the Tel Aviv light rail Red Line, NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. is moving ahead with tenders for the Green Line. Sources inform "Globes" that five Chinese companies will submit bids for construction and tunneling of the underground section of the Green Line. The bids are likely to be around the NIS 1.5 - NIS 2 billion mark out of total estimated costs of NIS 15 billion for building the Green Line.
Work is scheduled to begin at the start of 2020 and will include digging a 4.6 kilometer tunnel and building three underground stations at Kaplan Street, Rabin Square and the corner of Ibn Gbriol and Arlozorov Streets. A fourth underground station along Carlebach Street will also be on the Red Line and is already under construction. The new construction work will further exacerbate traffic congestion in central Tel Aviv.
The five Chinese companies expected to bid for the Green Line tunneling and construction work are CRCC (China Railway Construction Co.), which is already working on the Red Line, CRTG (China Railway Tunnel Group), which is building the southern part of the Red Line, China Harbor, which specializes in port infrastructures and is building Ashdod's southern port but also operates in tunneling, CSCEC (China State Construction), that has previously tried to break into Israel's residential construction sector, and PCCC (Power China), which is involved in construction of the Gilboa hydroelectric power plant.
In contrast to previous tenders, the Chinese companies will bid separately and not as part of a consortium with Israeli construction companies. This follows problems created by such groupings during work on the Red Line. The tender requires that bidders have experience in digging in soft ground and a crowded urban environment. The bid winner will need to make reciprocal procurements in Israel.
The tender includes detailed planning and design, tunneling and even taking care of traffic arrangements. The main competition in the tender will revolve around cost.
The Green Line will be 39 kilometers long, the longest of all the planned Tel Aviv light rail lines. It will have 62 stations with two branch lines beginning in Herzliya and Tel Aviv's Kiryat Atidim in the north, merging in Ramat Aviv's Einstein Street for a central sector in central Tel Aviv and Holon and splitting in the south into branch lines to Holon's Jerusalem Boulevard and Rishon Lezion via west Holon.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 20, 2019
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