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Egypt Digs First Tunnel Under Nile

March 3, 1998

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Engineers have finished digging the first tunnel ever under the Nile River, a project to connect more three districts with Cairo’s underground subway line.

The new subway _ a 12-mile extension of a two-line subway network _ will be ready by 2000 at a cost of $2.5 billion, Mohammed el-Husseini Abdul-Salam, chief of the National Authority for Tunnels, told reporters Tuesday.

The first two sections of the subway extension were built between 1993 and 1997. The third part comprises the 1,980-foot tunnel, which Abdul-Salam said was 100 feet below the Nile.

The new 18-station line will connect the districts of Qalyub, al-Qahira and Giza, with Cairo’s existing 26 1/2-mile subway. The new line can serve 1.8 million people a day.

Inaugurated in 1987, the subway has done little to ease traffic in this sprawling metropolis of 15 million people. Many residents drive to work, clogging Cairo’s wide boulevards and bridges across the Nile, which bisects the capital.

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