As part of ongoing work to convert Al Rayyan Road into an eight-lane highway, Qatar’s public works authority has announced two sets of traffic diversions that take effect today.
The project falls under Ashghal’s ambitious Expressways program, which aims to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion across key roads in Doha.
This specific work involves the renovation and expansion of the artery road that runs from western Doha through a number of popular residential areas in Al Rayyan, and past the southern side of Education City to eventually connect with the busy Sports Roundabout.
Starting today, the first diversion affects Dukhan Road East from the interchange opposite Al Wajba Palace to Garrafat Al Rayyan (Qatar Academy) roundabout, effectively closing Bani Hajer roundabout, which is located to the west of Education City.
Ashghal did not specify how long the detours for this part of the project would be in place.
But the diversion will likely mean delays and more congestion in the area as commuters traveling along Al Rayyan Road who wish to head north or west at Bani Hajer are instead forced east to the roundabout in front of Qatar Academy, before making a U-turn to head west.
According to a statement issued by Ashghal, diversions will take motorists to a three-lane alternative road south of the existing Dukhan Road.
The detour will also include introduce a U-turn on the alternative road, heading north of the existing Dukhan Road toward the interchange opposite Al Wajba Palace, so that vehicles do not have to use the interchange.
Al Rayyan Road has been closed in both directions from Bani Hajer roundabout to Al Wajba roundabout (also known as Qtel roundabout) which has been converted to a signal-controlled intersection.
Traffic traveling from the interchange opposite Al Wajba Palace towards the Bani Hajer roundabout must use the alternative route to reach Garrafat Al Rayyan (Qatar Academy) roundabout.
New underpass works
Ashghal’s second diversion, which also took effect today, involves a minor, 800m detour on Al Rayyan Road between the roundabout that connects the Expressway and Sports roundabout.
Traffic traveling eastward, towards Sports Roundabout, will be diverted onto a parallel and adjacent three-lane road that reconnects with Al Rayyan Road just before Sports Roundabout.
As such, no significant delays are expected there during the works, which will last 18 months.
The diversions are to enable the construction of an underpass beneath Al Rayyan Road as part of the upgrade and construction of the road project, which should improve traffic flow in the area and reduce congestion at the busy Sports roundabout and also the roundabout by the Expressway.
Once completed, the underpass would allow traffic coming eastbound on Al Rayyan Road to access Jassim Bin Hamad Street without having to drive to Sports Roundabout.
The underpass would also allow vehicles heading southbound along Jassim Bin Hamad Street to reach Sports Roundabout without having to pass through the Expressway roundabout, Ashghal said.
A similar diversion is expected to be in place in the near future on the westbound carriageway, heading away from Sports Roundabout. However, Ashghal said the works were not expected to cause delays.
Overall, Ashghal is upgrading nearly 10km of Al Rayyan Road to expand it to four lanes in each direction, with signal-controlled intersections, underpasses, flyovers and a central median. Side roads and service roads will also be revamped of the program.
Announced in January last year, the project has been divided into two phases.
Work on the first section, which includes the 2.9km portion of road between the Bani Hajer Roundabout at Al Luqta Street in the west and the New Al Rayyan Roundabout at Furousiya Street and Huwar Street in the east started in early 2014. That upgrade is expected to be complete by fall 2016.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan Road Eastern portion takes in the 5.3km stretch of road between Sports roundabout near the Women’s Hospital in the east and the New Al Rayyan roundabout in the west. It is set to be finished in 2017.