The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has earned praise for its efforts to promote sports activities and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

One of these initiatives, Olympic Cycling Track, has helped Ashghal set a new Guinness World Record for being the 'Longest Continuous Cycling Path'.

Besides, Ashghal has created Guinness World Record for the 'Longest Piece of Asphalt Concrete Laid Continuously'.

Both the records were achieved within the Al Khor Road project, Ashghal said in a statement on Saturday.

Jassim Rashid al-Buenain, secretary-general of the Qatar Olympic Committee, praised Ashghal's efforts to establish a connected and safe network for cycling paths in Qatar. "The Olympic track is suitable for all segments of all ages, whether professionals, amateurs or people with special needs, which contributes to encouraging the practice of sport and increasing awareness of its importance in the life of the individual and society," he said.

Abdulrahman Musallam al-Dossari, adviser to HE the Minister of Culture and Sports and president of Qatar Sports Federation for All, referred to the importance of implementing an infrastructure that serves sports activities, and praised the fact that the Olympic Cycling Track is completely separate from traffic movement, which contributes to the achievement of security and safety for cyclists.

He added that Qatar Sports Federation for All will utilise this infrastructure to encourage walking and cycling by holding activities and competitions on the Olympic Cycling Track.

Yousef al-Emadi, director of Projects Affairs at Ashghal, and Bader Darwish, manager of the Highway Projects Department, both stressed the importance of the projects and the Guinness World Records.

Abdulla Ahin, Designs Department manager at Ashghal, said the Olympic Cycling Track was designed to be completely separate from road traffic, allowing cyclists to speed up to 50km/h. A total of 29 underpasses and five bridges were provided to facilitate non-stop riding.

He added that the Olympic Cycling Track extends on Al Khor Road, measuring around 33km in length and 7m in width, which can be used for international sports competitions, especially because the track has been designed to allow speeds up to 50km/h.

Hamad al-Yafei, one of the engineers working on the Al Khor Road project, said the design and construction of bridges, underpasses and the Olympic Cycling Track were on a par with international specifications and standards, and the works were completed with maximum pace and minimum cost. He added that the other side of Al Khor Road includes shared paths for pedestrians and bicycles, with 34km length and 6m width, and the paths include 18 pedestrian and bicycle underpasses. To facilitate the use of cycling paths along the road, 80 bicycle stands as well as 100 benches and 20 rest areas are also provided.

Ashghal has provided five car parking areas stretching along the path near Qatar University, Lusail station, Losail International Circuit, Semaisma

Interchange and Al Bayt Stadium. It has also installed 1,450 lighting poles dedicated to the vital path to encourage cycling at night.

The Olympic Cycling Track was opened on this year’s National Sport Day, February 11.

Meanwhile, the asphalt pavement works of Al Khor Road were carried out in 27 days, during which 1.8mn sqm of asphalt were poured for the paving of 65km.

In order to complete the Al Khor Road project and open it to traffic at the earliest, three asphalt plants operated throughout the day without any break, with a production capacity of 800 tonnes per hour. In addition, three asphalt pavers were used to cover all tracks at the same time and to ensure non-stop work.

The project team has organised the work in such a way that the paving of asphalt layer is started in one part and the next part is prepared in parallel so that work does not stop.

The preparatory works included middle layer paving works, asphalt production and mixing, cement barriers and other works.

As for the piece of asphalt that achieved the Guinness World Record, it is about 25km long and 28m wide, paved without any joints, by pouring more than 91,000 tonnes of asphalt continuously over a period of 242 hours without stopping work (more than 10 days), covering more than 700,000sqm of asphalt.

Saad al-Dosari, one of the engineers of the Al Khor Road project, expressed pride at being part of the project. He said the Asphalt International Roughness Index (IRI) for Al Khor Road has a value of less than 0.9, which makes the road more comfortable and safe for users.

The quality of implementation of all asphalt layers was strictly monitored during different stages of the project to ensure high-quality execution to obtain this result. Besides, service crossings under the road were implemented considering its pressure, in line with standard specifications to ensure quality of the road.

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