The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has opened 37km of the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route project to traffic.
The opened parts include a 29km section of the New Orbital Highway between its intersection with the East West Corridor and its intersection with Dukhan Highway, as well as an 8km stretch of Mesaieed Road, from South Al Wakrah to Hamad Port.
This will be followed by the opening of the remaining sections over the coming few months until the final delivery of the project in 2018, Ashghal has said in a press statement.
While three out of seven lanes have been opened to traffic on the 29km section, two out of four lanes have been opened on the 8km stretch.
Yousef al-Emadi, manager of the Expressway Department at Ashghal, said the new works opened 30 days before deadline as Ashghal had rescheduled some projects incorporating the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route. This was in line with its commitment to deliver the expressway projects on or before time, he stressed.
The latest opening is the second accomplishment on the New Orbital Highway project this year, as Ashghal had inaugurated the linking road between Hamad Port and Truck Route on February 27.
A couple of bridges opened on the interchange linking Orbital Highway and Dukhan Highway, which would be fully in use in the following months as 75% of structure works of the interchange had already been completed. The Orbital Dukhan Interchange is a key access point on Dukhan Highway linking the vital Al Jahhaniya Interchange on Dukhan Road, Al Rayyan area, and Al Shamal Road, the statement explained.
Also, the interchange connecting the Orbital Highway and East West Corridor is 75% complete as one of the bridges dedicated to light vehicles and a tunnel dedicated to heavy vehicles from the East West Corridor to the Orbital Highway were opened. Once completed, the junction will involve three levels, two bridges and two tunnels in order to enhance traffic between the East West Corridor and New Orbital Highway.
The 29km section provides direct connection with Salwa Road and Dukhan Highway to form an alternative route - apart from Doha - that will help reduce traffic jams, Ashghal has said.
The new route provides a key link for several economic and agricultural activities, as a host of farms and the logistics village are situated along the Orbital Highway. The three lanes replace the two lanes on the previous route, catering to 6,000 vehicles per hour in each direction - in place of 4,000 per hour - that will reduce journey times. A hard shoulder was also provided for faster journeys and a lower accident rate.
On the other hand, the 8km stretch on Mesaieed Road, from South Al Wakrah to Hamad Port, will enhance traffic and provide easier access to travellers from Doha and Al Wakrah to Hamad Port and the southern areas.
Meanwhile, Ashghal highlighted that the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route project is as an important addition to the road network in Qatar; it would serve as a vital link between the southern and northern areas in the country. The project is located to the north, west and south of Doha city, and includes a total of around 195km of roads, starting from Mesaieed in the south to the west of Al Khor city in the north.
The project also includes the construction of 21 main interchanges, including tunnels and flyovers, connecting the Orbital with highways and main roads such as the East West Corridor, Salwa Road, Dukhan Highway and Al Shamal Road. This will significantly enhance the flow of traffic and shorten journey times by around 50% on an average, compared to the time spent on the same journey when using the existing roads.
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