`Temporary’ truck route opens to traffic
December 01 2014 09:53 PM
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Vehicles move along the new road near western Umm Al Fai, on the outskirts of Rayyan. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

By Ramesh Mathew
Staff Reporter

A 41km road, with two lanes on either side, will link Lusail City with the western areas of Salwa Road on the route to Abu Samra.

The road, which opened for traffic on Monday, is expected to considerably ease traffic movement, especially of trucks and trailers between the country's southern side and Lusail City.

The ‘Temporary Truck Route (TTR)’, as it is called, also joins the 23-km Salwa-Mesaieed (Route 55), which opened for traffic last year. The route will improve connectivity between the southern and northern areas of Doha.

"The new road not only helps the smooth movement of vehicles, especially trucks and trailers between Mesaieed and Lusail, but also helps commuters from both sides to avoid the traffic congestion in Doha and its immediate surrounds throughout the day," said Ashghal's head of Infrastructural Affairs Jamal Yousef al-Salih.

The senior engineer said it is one of the major projects executed by the authority's road projects department to significantly reduce traffic congestion by diverting transit traffic outside Doha until the completion of the Orbital Expressway and Truck Road.

The ambitious Orbital Expressway project between Mesaieed and Ras Laffan consists of a highway with seven lanes on either side, with two roads exclusively reserved for trucks and trailers, and is expected to be functional by 2017 end, according to a recent report released by Ashghal.

One of the major highlights of the new road is that it avoids touching any of the four major highways that it overlaps, as bridges have been built over each of the four points, near Lusail City entrance (on the North Road to Al Khor), near Al Mazrooah (Bridge No.16, near Al Kheesa on Al Shamal Express highway), near Rayyan Sports Club Stadium (on Dukhan Highway) and near Abu Nakhla (on Salwa Road). The stretch between Al Mazrooah and Dukhan road passes through the outskirts of Umm Salal Mohamed and Al Rufaa Street.

While prefabricated steel bridges have been built over the Dukhan Expressway and North Road, there are permanent bridges across the points overlapping the other two highways.

Al-Salih explained on Monday that prefabricated bridges were developed on a war footing considering the significance of the project so that smooth traffic movement between two areas could be ensured. More than 2,000 tonnes of structural steel, manufactured in the UK, were shipped to the country to be locally assembled and installed.

Structures of more than 7000 cu m of concrete and 1300 tonnes of reinforced steel has been built to protect the gas pipelines which are passing through areas nearly 10km south-west of rural Umm Al Fai.

There are about 10 roundabouts on the route, and digitally monitored transformer timers, operated by the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), have been installed to ensure smooth and safe movement of the vehicles. The timers blink when the vehicles advance towards the roundabouts.

The project, explained al-Salih, also comprises the development of services and infrastructure facilities to include rainwater drainage, intelligent transportation systems and street lights at the roundabouts and intersections and on the two steel bridges.

Brigadier Abdullah A Marafia of the Ministry of Interior's Traffic Department said strict procedures would be enforced to ensure that trucks and trailers between northern side and Mesaieed or other places on the south moved only through the new road.

The traffic department official said trailers and trucks coming from the two areas and going to their destinations in Doha city alone would be allowed to pass through the city from now onwards.

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