Qatar’s Sports Roundabout is going, going…gone

Umer Shabib

Demolition of Sports Roundabout

Central Doha’s last major roundabout has finally bitten the dust, much to the delight of many residents.

Bulldozers could be seen demolishing Sports Roundabout in Al Sadd yesterday.

The junction was notorious among motorists for its huge traffic delays. But it also served as a key landmark in the area, thanks to its 1980s-style concrete sculpture, which depicted different sports.

Kombizz Koshani/Flickr

Sports Roundabout in its old days.

Ashghal announced last month that the roundabout’s days were numbered.

At the time, the public works authority said reconstruction into a signal-controlled intersection would start within months.

Saying goodbye

Online, many took a few moments to mark the roundabout’s demise yesterday. Some showed more nostalgia than others for the distinctive structure.

Resident Rehan Quereshi told Doha News: “I don’t mind the roundabout disappearing. It was quite a bottleneck to and back from work.”

Photos from yesterday morning showed that what remained of the roundabout was only a tangle of mangled reinforcing bars.

Additionally, two of the sculpture’s supporting legs could still be seen, amid a large mound of concrete rubble.

Cause of congestion

Sports R/A has long been one of the busiest junctions in Doha because it links Al Rayyan Road with Mohammed bin Thani St. and Jawaan St. next to the Hamad General Hospital complex.

As Qatar’s population rapidly expanded, Sports and other roundabouts of old struggled to cope with the increasingly heavy traffic, leading to long queues and accidents aplenty.

As a result, Ashghal has undertaken a program of replacing the main roundabouts in town with signal-controlled intersections.

Derek Bruff/Flickr

Former Arch (Rainbow) Roundabout

Sports is now going the way of Oryx, Slope, TV, Burger King, Clock Tower, Rainbow/Arch, Crazy, Parachute and VIP, among others.

The renovation of the roundabout is also one of the last stages of a QR4.5 billion upgrade of Al Rayyan Road.

How do you feel about the end of the roundabouts? Thoughts?

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