Browsing 'construction' News

Ashghal

Al Messila tunnel

Just in time for Eid holidays and the imminent start of the school year, Ashghal has finished work on TV intersection.

Located near Al Jazeera, the junction had been one of the last roundabouts in the area to be converted into a signalized intersection.

It, along with several other projects, open to traffic today, the public works authority has announced.

That includes a new road tunnel and underpass in Al Messila.

The reconstructed route links Al Rayyan Road with Jassim Bin Hamad St. and should speed up journey times from Madinat Khalifa and Al Messila toward Al Sadd, and westwards through Al Rayyan and beyond.

Widened roads and improved service routes should also reduce congestion in the area, which had been diverted onto local streets during the construction works, the public works authority said in a statement this week.

 

Ashghal

Al Messila tunnel and intersection

The Al Messila tunnel is part of phase 2 of the Al Rayyan Road development program.

The project entails overhauling 5.5km of the artery route from west of Sports Roundabout to the west of Abdullah bin Khalid roundabout.

Sports Roundabout is currently being converted into a signal-controlled intersection. So is the roundabout mid-way on Jassim bin Hamad St., connecting with Al Jazeera Al Arabiya St.

Umer Shabib

Demolition of Sports Roundabout in June

In addition to the Al Messila tunnel and TV intersection, two tunnels beneath the Pearl interchange open today. And so does Ali bin Abi Talib St. between the Expressway and C-Ring Road.

Tunnel works

Work to overhaul Al Messila junction began in June 2015. At that time, the southern section of Jassim bin Hamad St. closed to allow for the construction of the new tunnel and intersection.

Ashghal

Rendering of new Al Messila underpass with Al Rayyan Road running above Jassim bin Hamad St

The reconstructed interchange includes 2km of Al Rayyan Road, which has been widened to four lanes in each direction, increasing capacity from 5,700 to 7,600 vehicles an hour.

The new junction means traffic on Al Rayyan Road will be free-flow, from east-to-west.

The tunnel below it allows traffic coming eastbound on Al Rayyan Road to access Jassim Bin Hamad St. without having to drive to Sports intersection.

The construction of the underpass, service routes and new slip roads has been a key part of the Expressway program.

Ashghal

Al Messila tunnel and intersection construction

Nearly 3,000 workers were employed on the site, Ashghal said.

They poured enough concrete to fill 4,477 Olympic sized swimming pools, and excavated 2.7 million cubic meters of material – which would fill 843 Airbus A380 aircraft.

They also laid utility lines that would extend to half the length of Qatar’s coastline, the public works authority said.

Al Rayyan Road upgrade

The new intersection is one of six multi-level junctions being built as part of the expansion of Al Rayyan Road. The project is scheduled to be finished by the end of next year.

The others, which are all under construction, include:

  • A four-level, new Rayyan interchange;
  • A new three-level junction with Al Bustan St.;
  • The four-level Lebayah interchange;
  • Khalid bin Abdullah Al Attiyah which will span three levels; and
  • The dual level Old Al Rayyan interchange.

The first phase of the Al Rayyan Road development covered the western section of the route, some 2.9km from New Rayyan Roundabout to east of Bani Hajer Roundabout.

Will the new tunnel improve your journey? Thoughts?

Kling Consult

The Katara Towers at Lusail

Construction on the swooping structure of a twin-towers project in Lusail Marina is expected to start soon, with the launch this week of tenders for a main contractor.

Katara Hospitality opened the application process for a contractor to build the 36-story, crossed-swords design Katara Towers.

The towers’ curves are inspired by the crossed swords of the seal of Qatar, and were designed by German civil engineering and design firm King Consult.

Wikicommons

Qatar Emblem

When complete, the complex will house two hotels, luxury apartments, restaurants and entertainment and recreation facilities, according to the notice on its website and in local media this week.

Katara Hospitality first launched the towers project in May 2012, and at that time aimed to finish by 2016.

At the time, the total budget for the project, covering a 300,000 sq m area, was QR2.2 billion.

Since then, progress on the project has been stop-start, and subsequent deadlines have come and gone.

Enabling and piling works got underway in late 2013, and in December 2014, Katara Hospitality tendered for subcontracting and basement works packages.

According to its website, the towers are now scheduled to open in 2020.

Contractor search

The state-funded hospitality group said it is currently looking for a Qatar-based contractor, or a joint venture with local official representation.

They will be tasked with building the above-ground structure and facade and to handle the MEP works.

The successful bidder will also be appointed as main contractor for the rest of the works to the project until it is finished, the notice states.

Katara Hospitality

Tender notice in newspapers for Katara Towers’ main contractor

Eligible bidders should have done at least three similar projects in the last six years, each valued at QR2 billion or higher.

They must also show experience in constructing projects of a “similar size, character and complexity” in the Gulf or MENA region in the last five years, the notice said.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.

What to expect

Once completed, the towers will be among Lusail City’s landmark buildings.

It is located in the marina district, which is still under construction. It is already home to the multi-colored Marina Twin Towers, among other buildings.

Damon McDonald/Flickr

Lusail’s Twin Towers

According to the latest tender notice, Katara Towers will house two hotels – a “luxurious premium” hotel for business travelers, and a “five-star deluxe hotel.”

There will also be permanent apartments as well as “a variety of suites, restaurants and state-of-art entertainment and recreation facilities.”

Previously, an artificial beach island was planned, to be linked to the towers’ promenade by bridges.

It was slated to host aquatic sports, restaurants and contain water parks, Katara Hospitality previously said.

However, there was no mention of the beach island in the latest notice.

New city

Some 20km to the north of Doha, Lusail is being built from what was empty desert.

The aim is to eventually house nearly 200,000 people by 2022, and half-a-million residents when it is fully complete.

SCDL

Lusail City rendering

At that time, visitors to the “city of the future” will be able to get around via light rail, water taxi or through a cycle and pedestrian network.

Construction on the marina district has been underway for years, and a number of towers and other projects are already complete, although progress in some parts has been slow.

Lusail will also be home to Qatar’s showpiece stadium when it hosts the World Cup in 2022.

A Qatari-Chinese JV was announced late last year as the main stadium contractor. But the design for the arena – being undertaken by British architectural firm Fosters + Partners – has yet to be publicly revealed.

Among the stops on the light-rail is Place Vendôme. The QR4.6 billion mixed-use, Parisian-inspired development will have a shopping center with up to 500 retail outlets in a 1 million square meter area.

United Developers

Place Vendôme – Lusail

Scheduled to be finished next year, it will include a a hypermarket, entertainment zones, restaurants and two five-star luxury hotels and serviced apartments.

Thoughts?

Richard Messenger / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In line with UN sanctions against North Korea, Qatar has not issued any visas to citizens from the country since 2015, officials have reportedly said.

The disclosure follows accusations that Qatar and other Gulf states have allowed thousands of North Koreans to work in their countries, primarily on construction sites.

It also comes amid rising international concerns about North Korea following reports of recent ballistic missile testing.

Gadget Dan/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar is among only 16 countries internationally that hosts North Korean workers, allowing them to earn money for their country, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

Construction workers

In response to questions from AP, Qatari officials confirmed that North Koreans had previously been contracted to work in the state.

However, there are now fewer than 1,000 such expats. And no visas have been issued to nationals from the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) for two years.

“Qatar is in compliance with all UN sanctions against North Korea. There have never been workers from North Korea working on any World Cup construction sites,” AP reported the statement as adding.

Arirang Mass Games, Pyongyang/Wikicommons

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

None of the other Gulf countries commented on the report. But AP cited unnamed intelligence officials as saying some 6,000 North Koreans worked across the GCC.

Notably, an inflammatory opinion piece published in US publication The Hill earlier this week only highlighted Qatar’s involvement with North Korean workers.

The op-ed was written by the head of a Saudi lobbying group. It described Qatar as collaborating with Iran and North Korea to form a “triangulation of terror and mayhem.”

‘Forced labor’

AP is the latest to report in recent years about GCC-based North Korean workers, who critics say are subject to forced labor.

For example, in May 2015, 90 North Korean expats were reportedly sacked and sent home by  Qatar-based Construction Development Company (CDC).

They were apparently in “continuous serious violation” of labor rules that resulted in the recent death of one of the employees.

Osarieme Eweka/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At the time, it was reported that the workers endured 12+ hour days. They also ate substandard food and were subjected to unsafe working conditions.

Three months later, VOA reported that the same company laid off its remaining 108 North Korean employees. They were apparently caught working on another company’s building site at night.

However, several North Koreans in Qatar disputed the allegations. They said the workers had either gone home on leave or were transferred to other companies.

Little take-home pay

Until now, there were no official figures for the number of North Koreans working in Qatar.

However, a 2014 Guardian report estimated at the time that Qatar was home to some 3,000 North Koreans expats.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The report said that the Pyongyang government typically takes 70 percent of the wages that workers earn abroad.

After food and accommodation fees are deducted, North Korean migrant workers are often only left with 10 percent of their salary, it added.

Thoughts?