CONSTRUCTION of a third metro line in Cairo has moved a step closer with the launch of detailed design studies. Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels has awarded a US$2·5m contract for the two-year study to a consortium of Systra and Arab Consulting Engineers, which were also involved with Lines 1 and 2. The French government is contributing US$1·5m towards the study cost.

Construction of Line 3 is expected to get under way early in the next century. This will follow completion of the fourth phase of Line 2 running southwest to Giza, now scheduled to open in 2000. Line 3 will start from Salah Salem in the eastern suburbs of Old Cairo and interchange with Line 2 at Attaba. It will cross Line 1 at Nasser and then pass under the Nile to El Zamalek and the northwestern suburbs of Imbaba. o