Infrastructure Project: Tunneling of the Red Line

In 2012 Comodan signed an exclusive representation agreement with China Railway Engineering Group Ltd (CREG), one of the biggest Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) manufacturing company.

In 2014 Comodan signed an exclusive representation agreement with China Railway Tunnel Group Co. Ltd (CRTG), one of the largest tunneling and underground works company in the world.

Both groups are subsidiaries of China Railway Group Ltd (CREC), one of the biggest civil contractors in the world with more than 300,000 employees.

NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. is a government company responsible for the design and construction of a mass transit system for the Tel Aviv metropolis, the largest and most complex transportation project ever executed in Israel.

CRTG and CREG participated in a tender issued by NTA on 2012, to design and build tunnels, 12 km long, for the Red Line project in Tel Aviv. The Red Line is the first of a network of Light Rail Transit (LRT) and metro (MRT) to be operated by NTA. This first line represents part of a comprehensive plan to improve the welfare and quality of life of Israel’s citizens.

CRTG matched all the tender requirements and signed a Joint Venture with Solel Boneh of the Shikun Binui group. The Joint Venture won the project.

The Joint Venture scope was divided between CRTG and Solel Boneh. Six stations were built by Solel Boneh and 12 km’s of double tunnels was constructed by CRTG.

Following the award by NTA, a court case was presented by SHAFIR Group against the winners of the tender. It took more than 6 months until a final decision by the court was reached – Shafir’s claim was rejected.

A special team of Chinese engineers arrived to Israel to work on the design and construction. 6 large TBM’s were imported from China and a special team was assign to be responsible to comply with all local regulations and to coordinate between all the authorities in order to receive working permits.

The tunnels were constructed to pass under the Ayalon River, Israel Railways, Ayalon Highway (road 20) and Igudan (the sewage pipes in Tel Aviv). All works required many engineering approvals by more that 20 local and national authorities. Comodan’s main contribution was the facilitation between all the global and local contractors, hiring local teams and coordinating with all authorities. 

Four TBM machines started their work from Galei Gil site. About 100 heavy truck loads with excavated soil were emptied every day and about 40 trucks were bringing the concrete segments, which were produced in Israel with know-how, moulds, equipment and teams from China.

The works were performed 24/7. Special attention was given to reduce the disturbances to the residents and to avoid damage to the near-by houses.

The basic design made by NTA has been changed following the recommendation of CRTG to be “TUNNEL FIRST” (constructing tunnels before excavation of the underground stations), to overcome delays and dependency on the construction progress of each station.

The project was completed on time and with very hight quality, despite all the challanges and being the first ever mass transport underground tunneling project in Israel.

Comodan participated during the entire operation of this project, was part of all the meetings with the authorities, JV partners and subcontractors,  assisting CRTG with all their activities during the implementation of this project.