On 21 September, bulldozers will began work at three sites on the Tel Aviv light rail’s Red Line. Next to the Em Hamoshava Interchange in Petah Tikva, in a parking lot adjoining the Sheraton City Plaza hotel in Ramat Gan, and adjacent to Beit Romano in south Tel Aviv, three 25 metre vertical shafts are being excavated. Mining equipment will be lowered through these prior to digging out the underground section of the rail line. Eight machines are scheduled to dig 10km of subway tunnels between Jerusalem Boulevard in Jaffa to Geha Interchange at Petah Tikva.
The project is said to be moving forward as planned. More than 20 international tenders were issued in 2011, and the major construction tenders for building stations and digging tunnels are to be published at the start of 2012. Project management company PB has been hired as a senior consultant, mainly to handle the integration of the various contractors. NTA’s workforce has tripled to 100 and its operating budget has grown to NIS 30 million.