HAVING awarded the E&M works contract for its first heavy metro line in January (RG 3.05 p116), Entreprise du Métro d'Alger has started work on a light rail corridor in the east of the Algerian capital.

EMA has selected Systra and RATP Développement for a four-year contract to manage the construction of the 16·3 km priority section of the Eastern Line serving 30 stops. This is expected to open for revenue service in the first quarter of 2009 and is forecast to carry 150000 passengers/day. The French consultants will be supported by local firm Assistance à la Construction.

Running from Carrefour du Ruisseau to Bordj El Kiffan, the first phase is intended to spur urban redevelopment and improve transport links along the coastal belt. Starting close to the metro station at Les Fusillés, it will serve a new suburb at Bananiers and Houari Boumedienne University. In the longer term, the line is to be extended to Dergana, close to the airport.

Work has already started on a bridge to carry the light rail line over the SNTF main line, which is the first of seven major structures. The main depot and control centre are to be built at Bordj el Kiffan.