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Ashghal

New TV intersection

Motorists, take note: the busy TV Roundabout will be closed to all traffic until 4pm this afternoon, Ashghal has announced.

This is so the public works authority can complete phase 1 of the roundabout’s transformation into a signal-controlled intersection.

The junction closed yesterday afternoon for the completion works. But starting tonight, three lanes will be open for traffic in all directions.

Ashghal will then get started on the second and last phase, which entails completing additional turn lanes, as well as widening the roads to four lanes in all directions.

This is expected to be completed by Eid Al Adha in early September, the authority said.

Bye bye roundabouts

TV Roundabout, which is so named because it sits at the corner of Al Jazeera Media Network’s headquarters, is one of the last and most congested junctions to be tackled by Ashghal.

Over the past few years, the public works authority has already converted the roundabouts near it, including Oryx, Burger King, Lejbailat and Dahl Al Hammam, into signalized intersections.

Umer Shabib

Demolition of Sports Roundabout

Sports Roundabout in Al Sadd is also currently being razed to make way for another signalized intersection.

Thoughts?

Umer Shabib

Demolition of Sports Roundabout

Central Doha’s last major roundabout has finally bitten the dust, much to the delight of many residents.

Bulldozers could be seen demolishing Sports Roundabout in Al Sadd yesterday.

The junction was notorious among motorists for its huge traffic delays. But it also served as a key landmark in the area, thanks to its 1980s-style concrete sculpture, which depicted different sports.

Kombizz Koshani/Flickr

Sports Roundabout in its old days.

Ashghal announced last month that the roundabout’s days were numbered.

At the time, the public works authority said reconstruction into a signal-controlled intersection would start within months.

Saying goodbye

Online, many took a few moments to mark the roundabout’s demise yesterday. Some showed more nostalgia than others for the distinctive structure.

Resident Rehan Quereshi told Doha News: “I don’t mind the roundabout disappearing. It was quite a bottleneck to and back from work.”

Photos from yesterday morning showed that what remained of the roundabout was only a tangle of mangled reinforcing bars.

Additionally, two of the sculpture’s supporting legs could still be seen, amid a large mound of concrete rubble.

Cause of congestion

Sports R/A has long been one of the busiest junctions in Doha because it links Al Rayyan Road with Mohammed bin Thani St. and Jawaan St. next to the Hamad General Hospital complex.

As Qatar’s population rapidly expanded, Sports and other roundabouts of old struggled to cope with the increasingly heavy traffic, leading to long queues and accidents aplenty.

As a result, Ashghal has undertaken a program of replacing the main roundabouts in town with signal-controlled intersections.

Derek Bruff/Flickr

Former Arch (Rainbow) Roundabout

Sports is now going the way of Oryx, Slope, TV, Burger King, Clock Tower, Rainbow/Arch, Crazy, Parachute and VIP, among others.

The renovation of the roundabout is also one of the last stages of a QR4.5 billion upgrade of Al Rayyan Road.

How do you feel about the end of the roundabouts? Thoughts?

Penn State/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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.

Ashghal

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.

Ashghal/Twitter

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?