Residents contending with the city’s ever-increasing traffic congestion welcomed a piece of good news this morning: the conversion of the Sheraton and Dafna roundabouts on the Corniche into signaled intersections, two weeks ahead of schedule.
The construction began in January and was originally expected to be completed at the end of this month. Over the weekend, part of the Corniche was closed as Ashghal laid fresh asphalt at the new junctions.
Although the new intersections were open this morning, road markings have not yet been painted on the asphalt because it is too fresh. An Ashghal spokeswoman told Doha News the lines will painted next week.
QR200 million project
The Sheraton and Dafna roundabouts were the last of 10 junctions on the Corniche to be converted into signaled intersections, as part of a $55 million (QR200 million) project to reduce congestion on the popular route.
By November of last year, eight roundabouts in and around the Corniche were converted into intersections, including: the Museum of Islamic Art, Al Diwan, National Theatre, Wadi Al Sail, Oryx, Onaiza, the National Library and Lejbailat roundabouts, as well as installing the smart signal at Grand Hamad junction.
Traffic along the newly-opened area seems to be relatively light today, and Doha’s Twitter users – who regularly express their displeasure at the state of the city’s traffic – have so far made no complaints about the new intersections.
Twitter user Ali Khanan described the route as “smooth sailing” this morning:
Smooth sailing along corniche. The Sheraton Signals are open now from both directions. Kudos @AshghalQatar @dohanews pic.twitter.com/hFhZ9paNOV
— Khanan (@alikhanan) March 16, 2014
Ashghal has previously said it expects to tackle some 200 infrastructure projects in the next seven years. One of the upcoming ones appears to be revamping C-Ring Road.
In November, the Public Works Authority put out a $1.8 million (QR6.5 million) tender for the improvement of the road, including the installation of an intelligent transportation system, presumably akin to the synchronized signals that were installed on the Corniche.
The affected area would span Abdullah Abdul Ghani (Toyota) traffic signal near the airport, to Hamad Hospital, a senior Ashghal official said last summer.
No timetable has been set for the construction, however.
Did you drive along the Corniche today? Thoughts?