The QR1.59bn Salwa Road development project, part of the nationwide Expressway Programme of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), is expected to be completed by April 2013, it is learnt.
Though the initial target was a December 2012 completion, it is understood that the work got delayed on account of the massive scale of the project and the intense summer heat.
“We have heard from some people connected to the project that it would be definitely completed by April 2013,” a shopkeeper said yesterday.
His shop is one of the hundreds affected by the road development project and hence has restricted access until the work is over.
The four roundabouts on one of the busiest roads in Qatar are being converted into interchanges. They are Qatar Decoration, Central Market, Aziziya and Ain Khalid.
The project had been awarded by Ashghal to a joint-venture of Yuksel-Midmac in June 2010. Work began in July 2010 from the Ain Khalid side, following which the roundabout was enlarged and reconnected to the mainline on January 1, 2011.
The highway, which goes all the way to Abu Samra where Qatar’s only land border with another country - Saudi Arabia – is located, is being expanded to four lanes on each side.
As there are nearly 900 businesses on either side of the road, Yuksel-Midmac had adopted a system under which the traffic flow will continue, by first enlarging and then reconnecting the roundabouts to the mainline.
The project utilises an integrated traffic system with cameras installed at various construction points for monitoring.
There is a special toll-free number (800 0050), a first for any contractor in Qatar, to convey any grievances during the project.
The project covers laying of huge sewer lines, installation of traffic signals at Al Bustan, Wholesale market, Aziziya and Ain Khalid, new asphalt pavements, installation of street lights, traffic signs and building infrastructure for an integrated transport system among others.
Though hundreds of businesses on either side of Salwa Road have been affected by the limited access due to the works, a source said whatever possible is being done to alleviate the problems.
Considering the scale of the project, some disturbances are unavoidable, but all measures are being taken to minimise the difficulties and provide access to the shops and residences, it was pointed out.
“A commendable aspect is that the traffic flow has not been obstructed severely and the contractors and workers are always alert to provide alternate access,” a resident said.
Establishments like tyre shops were seriously hit initially when vehicle access was blocked for some months. But now, in a phased manner, the obstructions are being removed.
When work on the Salwa Road is complete, it will offer non-stop traffic flow and road access towards Abu Samra.
The Salwa Road starts from the Jaidah Bridge. Once past the Industrial Area Interchange, the road becomes the 81km-long Salwa International Highway and leads to Saudi Arabia.
The roundabouts converted to signalised intersections are being commissioned in a phased manner. It was on August 25 that traffic was diverted from the Wholesale Market roundabout to the newly-installed traffic lights intersection.
Motorists driving between the new Al Bustan traffic lights intersection and Al Aziziya traffic lights and those travelling between the Wholesale Market and Al Waab will have to use this new traffic lights intersection.
Three days later, traffic from the Aziziya Roundabout was diverted to the newly constructed Aziziya Signalised Intersection.
The new signalised intersection will be used by motorists travelling between the new signalised Wholesale Market Intersection and Ain Khaled Signalised Intersection and between Al Aziziya and Sports City.
Motorists are advised to follow speed limit and other traffic signs since the Ashghal contractor will continue with the remaining construction works on the project.
Works on the underpasses are progressing now, with emphasis on the approach roads.
The Expressway Programme comprise around 30 major road projects across Qatar, including new and upgraded freeways, expressways and arterial roads, a new orbital highway and truck route as well as substantial upgrades to existing roads.
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