Tunnelling work has been completed for Dubai’s Route 2020 metro extension project, it has been confirmed.

Route 2020’s tunnelling work spans 3.2km, at depths ranging from 12m to 36m.

Al Wugeisha Expo 2020, the tunnel-drilling machine used for the project, began work last October at Discovery Gardens, reaching the underground station near Jumeirah Golf Estates in February.

Drilling work then continued past Dubai Investment Park, finally stopping at the Green Community.

READ: Thales' systems for Dubai's Route 2020 tested in Italy

Work on the metro viaducts is due for completion this November, with all railway work for the project to be completed in July 2019. Trial runs are due to start in February 2020.

Al Wugeisha is able to crush stones and penetrate through sandy layers and soil components. It produces tunnels of symmetrical dimensions, which is said to “facilitate construction work and reduce the expenses of tunnel wall installation”.

The machine’s metal gear is supported by an automated tail and a cutting wheel that has a cavity. The cavity’s shape varies “according to the type of drilling and soil layers”, HE Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors at Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) explained.

He continued: “It is also fitted with a machine for removing the soil, tubes for discharging the mud, and a control room, in addition to other hi-tech components and features to accelerate the drilling process.

“Its single concrete ring has six to seven moulds, and each ring measures about 1.5m in diameter.

“Al Wugesha is also environment-friendly and has no negative effects on land layers nearby the drilling area,” Al Tayer continued, according to Dubai Media Office.