Two of Doha’s landmark junctions – Al Markhiya “Burger King” and Dahl Al Hammam roundabouts – are to become signal-controlled intersections over the next six months, Qatar’s Public Works Authority Ashghal has confirmed.
Construction is expected to start tomorrow, May 15, and run through October.
Questions about the fate of the two roundabouts have been raised this week after signs went up on the approach roads, warning that diversions would soon be in place.
The news could mean more traffic for Doha’s drivers, who battled through gridlock last summer and early autumn, as a series of roundabouts on the Corniche and neighboring streets were also converted to junctions with traffic signals.
More construction is set to get underway on C-Ring Road as well, as several intersections and one roundabout will be overhauled to make way for smart signals.
The two latest roundabouts link key areas of Doha, connecting West Bay with Al Gharafa, Madinat Khalifa and Duhail. Thus, the work is likely to impact rush hour traffic into West Bay, as well as shoppers going to Landmark Mall.
In a statement, Ashghal said that artery roads such as Al Markhiya Street, Arab League Street, Jassim Bin Hamad Street and Khalifa Street will remain open throughout the construction. It continued:
“The project is located in a strategic area of Doha. Given its vital location, work on this project will be carried out while keeping two lanes open to traffic in each direction throughout the construction period and temporary access will be provided to businesses and residences.”
Burger King R/A is set to get four traffic lanes in each direction, in addition to three left-turn lanes and one lane to turn right.
A storm water drainage network will also be installed, as will landscaping and street lighting.
Meanwhile, the new Dahl Al Hammam intersection is slated to have three lanes in each direction on Al Markhiya Street and Arab League Street. There will also be three dedicated left-turn lanes created and a right-turn side lane at each signal.
A pedestrian crossing will also be installed at the junction, improving access to the popular, nearby family park.
The construction is expected to have a knock-on effect on the approaching roads – particularly from Al Markhiya to TV roundabout, and around 1km of the road heading west toward Al Gharafa.
Surrounding roads will also be busy, as drivers try to find alternative routes around the roadworks.
And further work in the area is set to come, as Qatar News Agency reported the Minister for Municipality and Urban Planning Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Khalifa Al Thani announced that TV roundabout will be transformed in the future, with the construction of a north-south tunnel to ease traffic flow.
Ashghal said that road signs would be erected to advise motorists of diversions and that work would continue “around the clock in order to finish the two projects on time.”
Despite the imminent work, gardeners could still be seen this week, watering and tending to the immaculately maintained bushes and shrubs at the center of the roundabouts.
Other roundabouts which have recently been converted to intersections include the Museum of Islamic Art, Al Diwan, Grand Hamad, Al Meena, National Theater, Wadi Al Sail and the Post Office.
Note: This article was edited to include information on planned works for TV roundabout.
Love them or loathe them, roundabouts have been a definitive part of Doha’s urban architecture for a long time. So, we’d like to keep a record of them before they all go. Please share photos of your most/least favorite roundabouts (past or present) with us by tweeting @DohaNews, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submitting them to our Flickr Pool. We aim to put a photo gallery up next week to remember these icons.