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Dubai infrastructure development

First publishedin World Highways
January February 2017
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excavators from Volvo CE
Long reach excavators from Volvo CE are being used by contractor DETECH in Dubai
New infrastructure is being built in Dubai with the help of machines from Volvo CE

The Dubai Water Canal is being built in a busy and congested urban area, with the project including construction of major new road bridge crossings.

The work is being carried out by Turkish infrastructure specialist DETECH Contracting. The 3.2km waterway is being built through downtown Dubai and is among the most ambitious projects being carried out in the country. When fully opened in 2017 the project – called The Dubai Water Canal – will range in width from 80-120m and be 6m deep. The construction of the US$544.5 million project is progressing at breakneck speed; unveiled at the end of 2013, building work has already passed the 60% completion point and construction works are due to be finished by next September.

Phase One of the project consisted of building two eight-lane elevated road bridges. These will carry the longest road in the UAE, the Dubai-Abu Dhabi E11 highway (also known as the Sheikh Zayed Road), over the soon-to-be excavated canal. These multi-span bridges are each 600m long by 36.7m wide and have a navigational clearance of 8m. The bridges opened to traffic in late June 2016 – but not before a considerable amount of modification in the vicinity of the project.

Working for the main contractor is DETECH Contracting, who was given the task of the utility diversion work. This included microtunneling and the protection of existing 132kV cabling, water main lines, sewerage rising main/gravity pipes, as well as communications services. All the utilities had to be relocated before excavation of the canal could begin in earnest.
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construction at Dubai’s downtown area
The work is being carried out right in the centre of Dubai's downtown area
Established in 2006 DETECH (Dubai Engineering Technology) quickly built a solid reputation in the emirate as a utilities specialist, promoting it to main contractor status on many projects. Established by experienced Turkish contractors, the firm has been successful in Dubai.

The firm is now carrying out many projects in Dubai’s downtown area, and said that managing the sewage, drainage, irrigation and telecoms is as complex as in any other major city. This project was not without difficulties. The proposed corridor had several unmapped utilities running through it – while another required the sewage pipes to be sunk to an unplanned depth of 10m. The risk of damaging existing or unknown utilities is ever-present but DETECH says that it had good teamwork and quickly resolved any difficulties.

After an initial six-month trial renting two Volvo excavators, the company has built up its fleet of 70 machines so that it now includes 12 machines from Volvo. These machines have been supplied by local dealer FAMCO and span the size classes, including EC480D and EC300D heavy excavators, L120F wheeled loaders, DD15 double drum compactors, BL61B backhoe loaders and MC60 skid steer loaders.

The larger Volvo excavators (EC300D and EC480D) are specified with longer booms, allowing excavating at depths of up to 12m (39.4ft). Both are also fitted with hammer hydraulic lines. Given the extreme dust and temperatures of the worksite – which can reach in excess of 50oC (122oF) – suitable machines are also fitted with tropical kits that include oil bath pre-cleaners.

Supplied with a service contract that is being delivered by FAMCO, the machines are working at their optimum levels. Fuel consumption is very important, as is maintenance, rapid parts supply and technical help.

The Dubai Water Canal, when water flows through it for the first time next year, will see the extension of the Dubai Creek so that it connects with the Business Bay and the Arabian Gulf. It will create new public places and facilities with a total area of 80,000m2 with private marinas for boats and a trade centre at the entrance of the canal.

Companies in this article

Volvo CE

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