Local government in Alexandria, Egypt is studying proposals for the construction of a monorail system. A group of engineering and transport experts is evaluating the feasibility of the project. The private sector would be invited to contribute to the construction which is envisaged as proceeding on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, according to Alexandria governor Osama el-Fouli.
Rim Abdel-Hamid Hussein, an assistant professor at the Alexandria University Higher Institute of Public Health is quoted saying: “A metro [underground] is not a practical solution; there are many archaeological treasures buried under the town. If metro tunnels were drilled, they would destroy these ancient monuments.”
Archaeologist Ahmed Abdel-Fattah disagrees, saying it would be quite safe to build a metro. He points out that the ground in Alexandria is harder than in Cairo, Tunnels could be drilled in the rock substratum, which is much deeper than the layer that concerns archaeologists.
Urban planning centre executive director Mohamed Sherif el-Abbasi says building a monorail would be faster and less costly than a metro: “Advanced countries don’t build underground metros anymore, they are simply too expensive and their construction too time-consuming. In engineering projects, the financial costs are at the heart of feasibility studies.”