The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) said it has completed 72% of the development works on Umm Lekhba Interchange, known as the Landmark intersection, taking a big step in accomplishing the prestigious Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
During a recent site visit, Ashghal project engineer Ali Ibrahim told Gulf Times
that parts of the "largest interchange in the country" are scheduled to be opened by the end of 2019, followed by other openings until the end of 2020.
With nine bridges and four levels, the 11km-long interchange is the "largest of its kind in Qatar" and will ensure free-flowing traffic in all directions. Out of the nine, five bridges consist of two lanes in one direction while the others have one lane in one direction. Some of the bridges are about 28m high and equivalent to a nine-storey building.
A general view. Supplied picture
A view of the works. Supplied picture
A view of the under-construction interchange
Ashghal’s project engineer Ali Ibrahim during a presentation
Ibrahim said the interchange is the second highest in the country after the one at Umm Bishr on G-Ring Road. It is located at a height of 35m, while the highest bridge reaches 36m.
The interchange can accommodate more than 20,000 vehicles per hour.
The interchange features a sophisticated intelligent transport system wherein surveillance cameras, a vehicle number monitor, vehicle classification and emergency traffic system will be installed.
The Umm Lekhba Interchange is considered to be the northern gateway of Doha and a 'distribution station' due to its strategic location. It is situated at an important spot where Al Shamal Road intersects with the Doha Expressway, Al Markhiya Street and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor. The place witnesses heavy traffic to and from Doha via Al Shamal.
The place is densely populated and serves as a commercial hub that also has government entities, educational and health facilities.
Once completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, the new interchange will significantly improve traffic to shorten the travel time by more than 70% by ensuring the free flow of vehicles.
The bridges provide nine arteries that provide free traffic flow in nine directions, in addition to free traffic on Al Shamal Road as well as the underpass of the old interchange linking Al Markhiya Street and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
The interchange will ease congestion on Doha Expressway, especially at the Al Gharrafa and Al Duhail intersections. Congestion-free travel will be ensured for vehicles coming from the Doha Corniche, Markhiya, Madinat Khalifa and Duhail in the direction of Al Shamal Road, Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor, Al Gharrafa and Gharrafat Al Rayyan areas to Al Luqta and Al Rayyan.
The new junction there consists of an underpass extending 700m between Al Markhiya Street and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor. The ground level consists of two loop bridges to Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor (bridge adjacent to Landmark Mall and another adjacent to Ezdan Mall to ease traffic pressure there).
The ground level also includes four bridges that provide free traffic flow and connects Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor to Al Shamal Road.
The second level includes three bridges to ensure traffic flow to and from Al Shamal Road and connecting Al Gharrafa to Doha and Al Shamal Road to Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
The project includes an integrated drinking water network, electricity and treated water lines as well as an integrated rainwater and service water drainage. These are in addition to a sewage and drainage network, various communication networks and fibre optic cables.
The construction of Umm Lekhba Interchange encountered many difficulties and challenges, according to Ashghal. The interchange is located in the busiest part of Al Shamal Road and constrained by many factors, including a significant number of large shopping centres. Therefore, work was planned in such a way that helped avoid disruption of traffic and congestion on Al Shamal for road users in Umm Lekhba and Gharrafa as well as commercial and residential areas, the official said.
To overcome the complex nature of the project, the 'precast segmental balanced cantilever' method was used. The reduction of space and the complex
arrangement of bridges also necessitate the design of some bridges, extending long spans up to 90m in some cases, the longest in Qatar.