Thursday, 11 March 2010

Qatar to spend $20bn on roads

Qatar has set aside $20bn for road construction over the next five years, according to a senior Ashghal official
By Sarmad QaziStaff Reporter
Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) yesterday laid out road projects worth around $20bn to be carried out over the next five years.“The budget for the next five years is $20bn,” Jamal Shareeda al-Kaabi, acting manager of Design Department (Roads and Drainage) in the Public Works Authority, said at a conference organised by London-based Meed magazine in Doha yesterday.
One of the major projects is the F-Ring Road which will be linked to the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), with Khamis Al Obaidli as its starting point. “Tenders for this project will be called in three weeks from now,” al-Kaabi said. From Khamis al-Obaidli, the road will be further connected to the Industrial Area and that stretch will be known as the Al Muntazah Highway.
“This particular project will resemble ‘Salwa Road’ with many commercial shops on either side. There has been a delay due to its re-designing as a proposed rail network had to be incorporated,” al-Kaabi said.
Al Muntazah Highway will be tendered out next year.
Another key project is the Arc-Ritz Roundabout which will be linked to the proposed Doha Bay underground crossing. This road, with three major interchanges, includes a link from Intercontinental Roundabout to Ras Abu Aboud.
“Utility is going to be the biggest challenge in this project,” al-Kaabi said. “The road across the Doha Bay is right now with the Urban Planning & Development Authority (UPDA) and (the project) is set to go ahead.”
Westwards, towards Dukhan, the Shahaniya-Rayyan Roundabout route would be tendered out next week, al-Kaabi said. This is another major highway with four-carriageways on both sides with possibly five interchanges.
The Rayyan Roundabout will be connected to Souq Waqif, providing faster access from the “Tilted” Roundabout to the Corniche.
“This is now under technical consultation and we are working with the UPDA as a joint team. Construction may start in two years,” al-Kaabi said.
Additionally, Ashghal plans to construct a link road from Landmark Mall to the Industrial Area and a Wakrah bypass. A four-lane East-West corridor, starting from behind the Industrial Area and passing through the under-construction Barwa City, is also in the offing.
Currently under design is the Phase 2 and 3 of the North Road, a 100-km stretch of highway that includes 22 bridges and connects to the planned Qatar-Bahrain causeway
“This is a five-year project and it will start this year (with work continuing) in the next two years… A big portion of $20bn will be utilised during this time,” the official said. lAshghal plans to award an estimated QR500mn ($137mn) contract by the end of the quarter to build the final phase of Doha’s largest sewage plant, an official told the Meed conference. “We are finalising the evaluation stage,” Jamal Ali, a senior consultant to Ashghal, said.
Four international companies are participating in the bidding process to build the fifth and final phase of the Doha South Sewage Treatment Plant, Ali said, adding that a recommendation for the winning firm would be made next week.
Qatar is also expected to award a deal for a new 2,000 megawatt power plant this year, a senior official from the Qatar Power Company said during the Meed conference.

Pledge to reducecongestion on roads
A senior Ashghal official yesterday acknowledged that the current “traffic (congestion) is indeed as bad as it feels” while insisting the authority was in a better position now than ever to tackle issues like project delays and traffic diversions. Jamal Shareeda al-Kaabi said one of Ashghal’s major aims was to reduce congestion on roads. “Much relief will come with the completion of the February 22 Street (Omar Al Khattab Mosque to Al Sadd) in six-to-eight months.”

1 comment:

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