* Opening of eight bridges and two signallised junctions to provide traffic flow in all directions and shorten journey time by about 80%
* Opening includes longest bridge in Qatar, which has length of 2.6km and extends over both Al Waab Interchange and Murraikh Interchange to reach Al Mukafaha Interchange
* Provides alternative route to Doha Expressway, especially between Al Rayyan Interchange and Nasser Bin Salemein Al Suwaidi Interchange
* Areas served include Al Waab, Al Aziziya, Al Soudan, Al Amir, Al Rayyan, Mehairja, Murraikh and Al Sadd
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) announced on Monday that Al Waab Interchange and Murraikh Interchange have been completely opened to traffic as part of the Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor project works.
Al Waab Interchange and the old Lekhwiya Roundabout have been developed into two multi-level intersections, consisting of eight bridges and two main light signals, according to a press statement by the authority.
Ashghal had partially opened the two interchanges recently, and the opening of the rest of the junctions provides an alternative road parallel to Doha Expressway.
This will help reduce the journey time by about 80%, the statement explains, especially between Al Rayyan Interchange and Nasser Bin Salemein Al Suwaidi Interchange, which witnesses major traffic congestion.
Those coming from Salwa Road or Al Waab Street in the north can use the Al Waab and Muraikh interchanges and the new bridges that provide free-flowing traffic.
The opening includes the longest bridge in Qatar, which has a length of 2.6km and extends over both Al Waab Interchange and Murraikh Interchange to reach Al Mukafaha Interchange.
The vital bridge consists of four lanes in each direction to provide free-flowing traffic for those coming from Salwa Road and Al Waab in the direction of Al Rayyan and Al Rayyan Road, and vice-versa.
Ashghal has also opened a new flyover at Al Waab Interchange with a length of 1,140m to link traffic on Al Waab Street and coming from Muaither in the direction of Al Rayyan, in addition to an overpass that connects traffic on Al Waab Street coming from Al Sadd and Doha Expressway, in the direction of Al Waab and Salwa Road, along a stretch of 740m.
Five other bridges have also been opened, providing entrances and exits to the Al Waab and Murraikh interchanges and facilitating free-flowing traffic to and from Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
The opening of Al Waab Interchange, after converting it from a signal into a three-level interchange, will improve traffic movement in all directions and facilitate access to a number of important roads, such as Doha Expressway, Salwa Road, and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
It will facilitate traffic flow to Al Waab, Fereej Al Soudan, Al Sadd and Mehairja, reaching Al Rayyan and Muaither, where a number of schools and other educational centres as well as healthcare facilities are located, in addition to residential complexes and malls.
The interchange will also facilitate access to a number of sports facilities such as Khalifa International Stadium, Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium (Al Sadd), Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, and Aspire Zone, as well as Doha Metro stations on the nearby Gold Line, such as Al Sudan and Al Waab.
Murraikh Interchange is integrated with Al Waab Interchange, especially after converting the roundabout known as Lekhwiya roundabout into a two-level intersection.
It serves as a major access link parallel to Al Waab Street to connect traffic coming from Doha Expressway with Sabah Al Ahmad and Al Khufous Street towards Al Furousiya Street, helping relieve traffic pressure on Al Waab Street.
Murraikh Interchange is also connected to Al Mukafaha Interchange, which connects Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor to Al Rayyan Road.
It will help reduce traffic movement on Doha Expressway and 22 February Street.
Bader Darwish, the manager of the Highway Projects Department at Ashghal, said that the two new interchanges have radically changed the area – after the transformation of Lekhwiya Roundabout into a two-level intersection and of Al Waab Interchange signal into a three-level intersection – to provide an alternative and safe option for road users coming from Salwa Road, Al Waab Road, Doha Expressway, Al Rayyan Road and other major roads such as Al Khufous Street and Furousiya Street.
* Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor
Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor extends approximately 25km from Hamad International Airport (HIA) to Umm Lekhba Interchange (known as Landmark Interchange) on Doha Expressway.
In addition, Ashghal will enhance 12km of local and peripheral roads intersecting with the Corridor.
The total road works of the project extend approximately 37km.
Once completed in 2021, Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor will significantly contribute to relieving traffic congestion on Doha Expressway and 22 February Street in particular.
The new Corridor will be a vital alternative and parallel route that will serve thousands of daily commuters from the north to the south of Doha.
Commuters travelling from the HIA will be able to reach Umm Lekhba Interchange in approximately 18 minutes compared to the current 50 minutes via Doha Expressway and 22 February Street, thus reducing traffic time by 70%.
The new Corridor will serve as a vital link between the north and south of Doha through Al Watiyyat Interchange on F-Ring Road, which will constitute a key point to accommodate traffic to both Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor and Doha Expressway.
This interchange will also create a vital connection between Doha Expressway and the Southern Part of Doha Express Highway (Al Wakra Bypass) as well as to Mesaieed Road further south.
Ashghal has stressed that this significant improvement in traffic will increase the road capacity to more than 20,000 vehicles per hour in both directions, after the existing road is expanded to four and five lanes in each direction instead of two and three lanes, while the Doha Highway currently accommodates only about 12,000 vehicles per hour in both directions.
The project will convert all roundabouts into signallised junctions, as well as build and upgrade 17 interchanges.
These interchanges will enhance connectivity and provide smooth traffic movement, in addition to having many bridges consisting of four lanes in each direction as well as five tunnels to provide free-flowing traffic.
The project also consists of 12 pedestrian bridges, 65km of pedestrian paths, and cycle paths along with 1.5mn sq m of landscaping.
The new Corridor is a major link facilitating connections to 15 main roads, including Al Wakra Road, Ras Bu Abboud Road, E-Ring Road, F-Ring Road, Industrial Road, Salwa Road, Al Rayyan Road, Al Waab Street, Al Luqta Street, Al Markhiya Street, Doha Highway and Khalifa Avenue.
It will serve 25 densely-populated residential areas such as Al Thumama, Al Nuaija, Bu Hamour, Al Waab, Al Rayyan, Al Luqta, and Al Gharrafa.
Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor will also facilitate access to several FIFA World Cup stadiums, including Ras Abu Aboud, Al Thumama, Al Janoub, Khalifa International, and Education City stadiums.
The Corridor also provides easy access to some Doha Metro stations, such as Economic Zone, Al Waab, and Al Rayyan Al Qadeem.