The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has completed 72 percent of the development works on Umm Lekhba Interchange, known as ‘Landmark Intersection’ within the work of Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor project.
The new free-flow interchange with a length of 11km, the largest in Qatar, will consist of nine bridges with the capacity to accommodate 20,000 vehicles in an hour. Parts of the interchange will be opened by the end of this year.
Once completed in 2021, Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor will significantly contribute to the relief of traffic congestion on Doha Expressway, in particular on 22 February Street. The new Corridor will be a vital alternative and parallel route that will serve thousands of daily commuters from the north to the south of Doha.
Details about the project were given by Ashghal officials during a media tour of the construction site of Umm Lekhba Interchange.
“The construction of the huge and vital interchange is underway, parts of the new interchange are scheduled to open by the end of 2019, followed by other openings until the end of 2020,” said project engineer, Ali Ibrahim.
Ibrahim said that the interchange accommodates over 20,000 vehicles per hour and five bridges consist of two lanes in one direction, while the other four bridges include one lane in one direction.
“The interchange is the second highest interchange in Qatar after the interchange of Umm Bishr on the G-Ring Road where it is located at an altitude of 35 metres while the height of the highest bridge reaches 36 metres,” he added.
“The interchange is designed to ensure the free flow of traffic, resulting in the construction of nine bridges (largest interchange) on 1st four-level interchange, some of which are approximately 28 metres high (equivalent to a nine-storey building),” said Ibrahim.
Above all, the interchange is located in a densely populated area and a vibrant commercial activity where there are many government entities, educational and health facilities as well as complexes and commercial markets.
Once completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, the new interchange will significantly improve traffic to shorten the travel time by more than 70 percent.
The bridges provide nine arteries that provide free traffic flow in nine directions, in addition to the free traffic on Al Shamal Road as well as the underpass of the old interchange linking Al Markhiya Street and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.
Commuters travelling from Hamad International Airport will be able to reach Umm Lekhba Interchange in approximately 18 minutes compared to the current 50 minutes via Doha Expressway and 22 February Street reducing traffic time by 70 minutes.
This significant improvement in traffic will occur due to increased road capacity to more than 20,000 vehicles per hour in both directions after the expansion of the corridor, which will be upgraded to four and five lanes in each direction instead of three lanes, Doha Expressway currently accommodates 12,000 vehicles per hour in both directions.
The project will convert all roundabouts to more efficient and safer signalised junctions as well as build and upgrade 17 interchanges.
These interchanges will deliver 32 bridges and 12 vehicular underpasses to enhance connectivity and provide smooth traffic movements in addition to 12 pedestrian bridges.
A total 12 pedestrian and cycle paths with a length of 65km along with 1.5 million square metre of landscaping will also be delivered as part of the project’s scope of works.