...Metroselskabet aims to award main contracts for the Cityringen orbital line this fall, says Jens Gravgaard, Metroselskabet's civil-work project manager.

Metroselskabet has divided tunneling, estimated at $1.6 billion, into two contracts, reflecting different ground conditions in the north and south.

Cityringen's 15.5 km of twin-bored tunnels, with 17 underground stations, will extend the 21-km two-line system that opened in 2002. Using driverless trains, the new line is due to start operations in 2018.

Bidders for the tunnels include Austria's Salzburg-based Alpine Bau GmbH. with its Spanish owner FCC Construcci�n S.A., Madrid. Bidding together are locally based M.T. Højgaard A/S with E. Pihl og Søn and Germany's Hochtief Construction A.G., Essen, and Ed. Z�blin A.G., Stuttgart.

An Italian consortium of Rome-based Salini Construttori S.p.A. and S.E.L.I. Societ� Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici S.p.A., with Tecnimont S.p.A., Milan, is also competing.

Metroselskabet's civil design team is a three-way joint venture of locally based COWI A/S, Arup Group, London, and Systra S.A, Paris. Rambøll and ADSA jointly are advising on the systems work.

For Cityringen's track and rail equipment, "we want to be sure we are not limited to the supplier of the first system," says Klaus Lund, Metroselskabet's transportation systems project manager. However, that same Italian supplier, Ansaldo STS, Milan, is the only bidder.