Browsing 'lusail expressway' News

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Motorists traveling to and from Dafna/West Bay and the Pearl/Katara will notice some big traffic changes this week as work continues on Lusail Expressway.

Starting Thursday, the junction connecting Omar Al Mukhtar St. to Lusail St. will be permanently closed, Ashghal has announced.

The move will help the public works authority as it prepares to open a new flyover on the same day.


New diversions

Ashghal called it the Al Khaleej Al Gharbi flyover, but the junction was previously known as Al Wahda and then West Bay interchange.

It is the same area where iconic arches are being built to replace the “rainbow” that stood at the now-razed roundabout in the same area.


Rendering of Al Wahda arches

When the flyover opens, three lanes in one direction will facilitate free flow traffic from Lusail to Dafna/West Bay.

But many commuters heading from University St. toward the Pearl area will need to take a more circuitous route than usual.

What’s changed

Ashghal has advised motorists heading in the following directions to allot extra time for their journeys, especially during peak traffic hours:

  • Commuters heading from University (Al Jamiaa St.) toward Dafna/West Bay and the Pearl will need to continue on Omar Al Mukhtar St., and then follow the signs to make a U-turn that either takes them straight toward West Bay, or left toward the Pearl.
  • Commuters heading from Dafna/West Bay to University St. should continue straight along Lusail St., take the Old Exhibition Center exit and then make a U-turn above Onaiza tunnel. Then continue straight and exit onto the new road to get onto Omar Al Mukhtar St. heading toward University St. (be sure to stay in the far right lane).

Those driving from West Bay/Dafna toward the Pearl will remain unaffected. And motorists going from the Pearl toward Dafna can use the new Onaiza Tunnel and the new flyover.

Notably, the speed limit has been reduced to 50km/hour in that entire area, Ashghal said.

Lusail Expressway update

Work on the QR3.5 billion Lusail Expressway began in 2012. When completed by early 2018, it will link Doha’s business district with the new city of Lusail through an extensive overhaul of the old Al Istiqlal Road.

Last month, the first phase of the expressway opened to traffic.

Doha News

Opening of Onaiza tunnel on Lusail Expressway

The Onaiza Interchange tunnel bypasses the traffic lights in front of the former Doha Exhibition Center. This has sped up commutes to Katara and the Pearl-Qatar from West Bay.

The new 5.3km route will eventually have four lanes in each direction, with additional turn lanes and three multi-level intersections at the Pearl, Onaiza and Al Wahda.

Will the new diversions affect you? Thoughts?

Doha News

Opening of Onaiza tunnel on Lusail Expressway

One of the main sections of the new, multi-billion riyal Lusail Expressway opened to motorists yesterday, speeding up commutes to Katara and the Pearl-Qatar.

The launch of the Onaiza Interchange tunnel comes after more than four years of construction work on the 5.5km route, which will connect Lusail City with Dafna/West Bay.

The entire road should fully open to traffic by January 2018, Qatar’s public works authority said.

So far, three lanes in each direction are open on the 630m-long tunnel, which bypasses the traffic lights in front of the former Doha Exhibition Center.

Construction continues on the remainder of the intersection, which eventually will have an additional lane in each direction.

The junction will also include a flyover that will connect Onaiza St. with Katara, the St. Regis, the InterContinental hotel and Al Gassar Resort.

The tunnel has been designed with Qatar’s fishing and pearl-diving heritage in mind.

The patterns on the tunnel walls resemble a fishing net and ripples of a diver underwater, Ashghal said in a statement.

Expressway timeline

Onaiza interchange, which Ashghal said has opened “four months ahead of schedule,” is one of three multi-level intersections on the new highway.

The public works authority has also outlined a timeline for the opening of the remainder of the route in nine months’ time.


Opening of Onaiza tunnel on Lusail Expressway

The main flyover at West Bay interchange, which Ashghal previously called Al Wahda interchange, will open this June.

Meanwhile, work continues on the rest of the three-level junction to create a non-stop route between West Bay and Katara, and beyond.

Then in September, two tunnels at the Pearl interchange will open, which should mean quicker journeys between the island and the new expressway.

This should come as a welcome relief to Pearl commuters. Since the main works started to the highway in late 2012, the road to the island has been beset by diversions and heavy congestion, particularly at peak hours.

After the initial opening, further works will continue at this junction. It will eventually link Legtaifiya (West Bay) Lagoon with Lagoona Mall, Zig-Zag residential towers and the hotels in the area.

The partially opened North Canal Crossing Bridge


The partially opened North Canal Crossing Bridge

North of Lagoona, the North and South Canal Crossings will also fully open.

They part-opened last November, providing two lanes in each direction. Once complete, the 200m-long North crossing will have six lanes in each direction and will link up with Lusail City and beyond.

The South crossing is 125m long and will have eight lanes in each direction. Both will have waterfalls on the side, Ashghal said.

Final plans

When fully complete, the QR6 billion expressway should provide a quick route between Doha’s main business district of Dafna/West Bay and the under-construction Lusail City.

Four lanes in each direction, plus adjacent service roads, should more than double the capacity of the old route – from 3,600 vehicles an hour to 8,000 per hour, Ashghal said.

In addition, there will be 6.5km of cycle routes and pathways for pedestrians.


Rendering of Al Wahda arches

The authority’s latest update on progress on the expressway does not mention when the Al Wahda arches, by the West Bay interchange, are expected to be completed.

These two arcs, which dominate the skyline in the area, were originally planned to link with a hanging pod that was supposed to be a visitors’ center.

However, a number of sources have said plans for the center have since been scrapped. Previously, the completion date for the structure was last June.

Will the new Onaiza tunnel help your commute? Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of Ashghal

A new bridge that connects Doha to Lusail City has partially opened to the public, Qatar’s public works authority has announced.

The North Canal Crossing Bridge makes the connection through the under-construction Pearl interchange, and is part of Ashghal’s Lusail Expressway program.

The area was closed off four years ago when construction began on the expressway in November 2012.

Last month, the bridge briefly re-opened to commuters during the UCI World Cycling Championships.

A map of the North Canal Crossing Bridge


A map of the North Canal Crossing

The 200-meter-bridge includes two lanes in either direction. Construction will be completed on the bridge by the final quarter of 2017.

Ashghal said the partial opening is expected to improve connectivity to the West Bay Lagoon. However, the roads surrounding Lagoona Mall and the Pearl appear to remain convoluted.

Expressway progress

The Lusail Expressway will eventually be four lanes in each direction and stretch 5.3km in length.

It starts at the former Arch Roundabout (now the upcoming Al Wahda Interchange), and goes past Katara and the Pearl to Lusail City.

In a statement yesterday, Ashghal said it has made major progress on the overall project:

“Six major tunnels at The Pearl and Onaiza Interchanges and the underpass at Al Wadha are at advanced stages of structural construction and utility works. To date, over 3,000,000 cubic meters of materials have been excavated to enable works on these sites.

38,000 meters of telecommunication, water and electricity utility network lines have been laid while 513,000 cubic meters of concrete and 55,000 cubic meters of rebar steel works have been utilized to deliver the current state of completion.”

The Public Works Authority also emphasized that it is working to not disrupt marine life around the north & south canals, and has set up a program to monitor environmental conditions.

Have you driven on the new bridge yet? Thoughts?