The 630m main tunnel in Onaiza Interchange, one of the key three Interchanges on the under-construction 6.5km Lusail Expressway, was opened for traffic on Saturday four months ahead of schedule by the Public Works Authority, Ashghal.
At the formal opening, Ashghal president and senior engineer Saad bin Ahmed al-Mohannadi said the tunnel's opening for traffic was decided a week after a site inspection by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.
While the tunnel will partially help in enhancing the traffic flow in the area, the full benefit is expected to be felt after the completion of the whole Lusail Expressway in January 2018, by reducing the travel time significantly, al-Mohannadi explained.
Including the access roads to the tunnel from both ends, the project is almost one km in length. Three of the four lanes of the Expressway on either side are now open and it would ensure smooth traffic from The Pearl-Qatar and northern neighbourhoods towards the West Bay.
As part of the interchange, a new bridge which is under construction will eventually connect the eastern side of Onaiza Street with Katara - Cultural Village and a number of hotels and other residential and commercial establishments west of the street.
The tunnel starts from near the traffic lights near the old Doha Exhibitions Centre and goes up the signalised intersection in front of Katara.
Al-Mohannadi hoped a major bridge being built at West Bay Interchange as part of the project would be completed in June this year.
It was also informed that two more tunnels being as part of the Expressway would be completed at the Pearl Interchange in September this year. The Lusail Expressway project will have cycle and pedestrian paths all along.
At the dedication of the tunnel, al-Mohannadi said the repeated visits of the Prime Minister and senior officials to the projects' sites boosted the morale of everyone associated with such mega projects and helped accelerate the pace of works.
Lusail Expressway, which connects Doha and neighbourhoods with upcoming Lusail City, covers many public destinations in the north, in particular the Diplomatic Area and a number of under construction hotels, malls and similar facilities in Lusail.
The project includes three multi-level interchanges in the Pearl, Onaiza and West Bay, addition to two marine bridges over the South and North Canal crossings.
A number of senior officials of the General Directorate of Traffic in the Ministry of Interior and Ashghal were also present at the opening of the tunnel.
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