Currently, 500 units of heavy equipment and 800 workers are on-site, with on-site workers to reach 1,000 by end-2020
Saudi Arabia’s 366km2 Qiddiya gigaproject, the under-construction capital of entertainment, sports, and the arts in kingdom – developed by the Saudi Crown Prince’s Public Investment Fund-backed Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) – has recorded approximately 1.5 million safe man-hours on-site since the start of construction.
Approximately 500 units of heavy equipment and 800 workers are currently on-site with the number of construction workers expected to reach 1,000 by end of 2020.
In an exclusive conversation with Construction Week, the chief development officer of Qiddiya Investment Company, Kareem Shamma, said: Our site safety program, implemented through our dedicated safety team in the PMO, and with the cooperation of all our Contractors, is paying off.”
Qiddiya’s site office complex in the site’s lower plateau has recently been doubled in size to support more staff moving from the corporate offices in Riyadh, while a second site office complex on the upper plateau is also now under construction and expected to be completed by end of December 2020.
Major utilities diversions have been carried out to allow further construction including the relocation of 92 high voltage transmission towers, 40km of high voltage transmission lines, 720 medium voltage transmission towers, 70km of medium voltage transmission lines, 36km of fibre optics cables, and 8km of water utility pipes.
Qiddiya has successfully completed total road asphalting of over 275,000 m3, and concrete pouring of 80,000 m3.
In terms of preliminary earthworks and mass grading, total excavation has reached 10.4 million cubic metres; total embankment and filling reached 8.6 million cubic metres; and total clearing and grubbing reached 8.9 million cubic metres.
Shamma added: “Qiddiya is extremely fortunate that we are in the design phase of our development, and therefore, most of the work that was scheduled to happen this year was preparatory construction and could continue on the site. Due to its nature, the workers were able to carry out their tasks at a safe social distance from each other.
“In fact, 2020 has been an extremely busy year for construction so far, as we have awarded over $533.3m (SAR2bn) worth of contracts. The most recent contract award is a three-year $293.3m (SAR1.1bn) agreement to construct major roads and bridges on the upper plateau of the site, which was recently won by Haif & Freyssinet in a joint venture contract between the two local firms.”
Qiddiya aims to develop more strategic partnerships and to continue with heavy construction well into 2022 – making it ready for the testing and commissioning phase, ahead of its grand opening in 2023.