To handle an expected increase in vehicle traffic in the coming decades, a team of consultants has recommended the construction of multi-level, one-way thoroughfares at the southwest edge of West Bay/Dafna.
Architectural and engineering firm KEO International Consultants has pitched the idea to officials at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, according to a source with knowledge of the project.
He told Doha News that while the ministry was initially receptive to the idea, government officials now question the viability of the project.
Specifically, there are concerns over the impact of three years’ worth of construction as well as the cost, which could run as high as QR8 billion ($2.2 billion). The individual said more meetings between KEO and ministry representatives are planned.
A five-minute video of KEO’s West Bay/Dafna proposal – as well as a project to revamp the Al Shamal Road interchange at Landmark Mall – was published on YouTube earlier this year and recently circulated on social media sites:
It appears to show the split-level lanes starting near Oryx intersection and extending along Majlis Al Taawon Street before rejoining at ground level slightly before the Tornado Tower.
At its widest, there are six lanes in each direction – unencumbered by traffic signals – in addition to service roads.
There are at least two pedestrian overpasses above traffic, as well as lanes connecting to the planned Sharq Crossing.
Commercial real estate firms note that many of the office buildings in Dafna are not fully occupied. As vacancy rates edge downward in the coming years, more and more workers will be entering Doha’s central business district daily, putting increased pressure on the city’s roads.
While the Doha Metro is expected to ease the strain somewhat, planners predict many residents will still have a preference for private vehicles, necessitating the need to expand roads in the area.
One of the advantages of the double-decker option, according to the engineering source, is that it can be built almost entirely within the government’s existing right-of-ways, negating the need to expropriate land.
Simply widening Majlis Al Taawon Street, he added, would be virtually impossible without demolishing existing buildings.
The proposed vehicle tunnel for traffic leaving Dafna is about 1.2 kilometers long, the source said. It’s about 10m below the surface at its deepest point – shallow enough to have an adequate buffer between the vehicle tunnel and the Doha Metro running below.
The video also includes a proposed reconstruction of the interchange of Al Shamal Road and Al Markhiya Street – at Landmark and Ezdan malls – that allows motorists to enter and exit the expressway without crossing a set of traffic lights.
According to the engineering source, this “free-flow” design has been approved and authorities are currently pre-qualifying companies to bid on the project.
Thoughts? What do you think of the double-deck proposal?