In a significant development, two tunnels at the Pearl Interchange, a major component of the ambitious Lusail Expressway project, were opened to traffic on Wednesday.
While formally commissioning the two tunnels, which are 317m and 408m long, respectively, Ashghal president and senior engineer Saad bin Ahmad al-Muhannadi hoped they would go a long way in considerably helping to reduce the traffic congestion.
Commuters are expected to benefit more after the completion of the nearly 5.6km Lusail Expressway project in the first quarter of next year, he said.
The opening of the tunnels came less than 24 hours after the commissioning of the rebuilt Ali bin Abi Talib Street and TV Intersection and opening of the Messila Tunnel and Jassim bin Hamad Street.
The top Ashghal official said the tunnels were opened ahead of their schedule. He recalled that the opening of the tunnels came 10 days after HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani visited the site.
During the visit, the Prime Minister had emphasised the need to commission the tunnels during the Eid al-Adha break.
Ashghal president and senior engineer Saad bin Ahmed al-Muhhannadi and others with officials of the companies which executed Pearl tunnels.
Among the two tunnels opened on Wednesday, the one from the Pearl Qatar to the West Bay is shorter while the other towards the Pearl from the West Bay is longer, exceeding 400m. Each tunnel has three lanes and is 17m in width.
The tunnels accommodate traffic coming to the Pearl and connect them with Lusail Expressway through the North Canal (200m) and South Canal (125m) crossings. The North Canal crossing has six lanes on either side while the South Canal has eight lanes in each direction between Onaiza and Pearl interchanges
The three-level Pearl Interchange provides access to and from the residential and business ventures in Legtaifiya Lagoon area and the upcoming Pearl Metro Station in the neighbourhood. The interchange also connects Doha with the under-construction Lusail city and the northern areas.
Ashghal vice president Abdulla Hamad al-Attiyah, director of Engineering and Traffic Safety at the General Directorate of Traffic Brigadier Mohamed Abdul Rahim Marafia, Ashghal roads maintenence and operations manager and senior engineer Yousef al-Emadi, and Central Municipal Council president Jassim Abdullah al-Malki also attended the launch of the tunnels.