The first lanes in the northern stretch of Qatar’s new, multibillion-riyal Orbital Highway will open to traffic by the end of 2017, Ashghal has said.
Slightly behind its previous target of Q2-Q3 2017, the new bypass will ultimately have the capacity to take 8,000 vehicles an hour across seven lanes in each direction when it fully opens.
It will have two lanes in each direction dedicated to trucks, which will be segregated from the rest of the traffic.
These will be able to manage up to 3,000 heavy goods vehicles an hour, the public works authority said in a statement as the Minister of Municipality and Environment, Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi, toured some of the construction sites this week.
Where it goes
Once complete, it should significantly reduce the number of trucks using routes in the residential districts of Al Wakrah, western Doha and Al Khor, easing traffic congestion in these areas, Ashghal said.
A total of 22 interchanges, including bridges and underpasses, will be built along the length of the dual carriageway connecting with other artery roads including the Salwa Road, the East-West corridor, Dukhan Highway and the Al Shamal Road.
Storm water drains and camel underpasses will be incorporated and treated sewage effluent will be used to irrigate the landscaping.
The northern section of the new route (contracts 2 and 4) run 140 km from north of the Salwa Road junction via the Dukhan Road to Al Khor, with a spur running to the North Relief Road. In total it incorporates 13, multi-level interchanges.
“The main lanes of contracts two and four will be open to traffic by the end of 2017,” Ashghal said, although did not give a date for the complete opening of the entire route.
Work started in January 2014 and previous estimates put the finishing date for the whole route at Q3 2017, according to the organization’s website.
Qatar’s roads are becoming increasingly crowded as the population continues to grow and looming deadlines on the country’s multiple construction and infrastructure projects mean more trucks around town.
Authorities have previously introduced initiatives such as banning trucks from parking in the city, and preventing them from using central roads during Ramadan, for example.
While the works to the main route are underway, Ashghal opened a temporary truck route in December 2014 to take some of the pressure off other roads. The 41km route connects Salwa Road to Lusail and has two lanes in each direction.