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Monday, September 27, 2021

National Theater junction to partly close this weekend for Corniche work

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Site of construction on the Corniche
Site of construction on the Corniche

Part of the National Theater junction from the Corniche will be closed to traffic starting tonight as Qatar’s public works authority advances on plans to build a new intersection in the area.

The closure affects the right filter lanes on Mohammed bin Thani Street used by vehicles turning from the Corniche onto Majlis al Taawon St/Al Bidda Street.

The road will be shut from midnight tonight (early Oct. 23) until 4am on Sunday, Oct. 25, an Ashghal spokesperson told Doha News.

National Theater junction closure
National Theater junction closure

Traffic heading to Dafna/West Bay will instead be diverted into turning left onto Majlis al Taawon St. Motorists will then need to take a u-turn at Rumaila roundabout to head back to the financial district and City Center mall area.

New junction

The closure is part of Ashghal’s plan to build a new intersection on the Corniche between the National Theater and the Emiri Diwan, in a bid to reduce congestion on one of the city’s most popular routes.

Corniche construction late 2013
Corniche construction late 2013

The reconstruction of the road, which began in mid-September, is expected to be completed by the middle of next month.

Lanes on the route have been narrowed during the construction period, to allow the works to take place.

In addition to the new intersection, Majlis Al Taawon St. is also being widened with an extra lane being created in each direction.

The Corniche continues to get gridlocked, particularly at rush hours, despite a $55 million overhaul during 2013-2014 in which its roundabouts were converted to junctions with “smart” traffic lights.

The creation of an additional interchange is aimed at giving motorists an alternative route away from the area when traffic is busy.

Ambitious plans

Ashghal has an ambitious program to reconstruct or build dozens of new roads across the country in the run-up tco hosting the World Cup in 2022.

This year alone, it was slated to begin 14 new road projects, in addition to 11 expressway projects worth more than QR18 billion that are already underway, according to its annual report.

Construction on the Orbital Highway
Construction on the Orbital Highway

And in the coming five to seven years, more than 32 expressway projects are expected to be completed, featuring 240 major interchanges and 980km of new roads.

During a briefing last month, Ashghal President Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi warned that construction to Qatar’s roads and bridges could take at least five years. While most of the projects were scheduled to finish by 2021, he said others could stretch beyond that period:

“This network of infrastructure can’t be built in parts. We need to go as per the master plan, which is why we are seeing large-scale construction activity, including development of roads, expressways, bridges and so on. All this will make Qatar a much better place to live in,” he added.

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