Officials view the Sharq crossing project at Katara yesterday. Abdul Basit
DOHA: Work on a 12-km long ambitious infrastructure project comprising three iconic bridges interconnected by eight-km long subsea tunnels will begin in 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2021, before the FIFA World Cup.
The project, called Sharq Crossing, will connect Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, Katara Cultural Village in the north and the downtown central business district of West Bay.
The crossing will include three interconnected bridges, named, ‘West Bay’, ‘Cultural City’ and ‘Al Sharq’ between 600 and 1,310 metres in length.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has appointed US-based Fluor Corporation as the programme management consultant to supervise the construction.
“Sharq Crossing is an engineering masterpiece of design, and while providing an important new artery to Doha’s existing road network, it will be instantly recognisable across the world and will be an emblem for Qatar,” said Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi, President of Ashghal in the presence of H E Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning yesterday.
Al Mawlawi declined to comment on the cost of the project, saying that “it is not clear yet as it is still in the early stages to calculate the cost”.
The bridge linked to West Bay will be between the Sheraton and Four Seasons hotels and the Cultural City bridge will be between Katara and the St Regis Hotel, while Al Sharq Bridge will connect to Ras Abu Abboud Street near the new airport.
The bridges were designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and inspired by natural forms and drawings from the image of flying fish, Ashghal said in a statement.
The most intricately designed of the three bridges, West bay, will have a two-deck arched structure incorporating a recreational park accessible via an elevated walkway and a funicular cableway. It will also include hospitality and recreation facilities.
The tunnel links will provide expressway of three lanes in each direction between the new airport and West Bay and between West Bay and Katara, there will be two lanes in each direction.
Heavy goods vehicles will not be allowed on the crossing for safety reasons. The bridges have been designed with a minimum number of supports to reduce long-term impact to the marine environment, the statement said.
“Ashghal, in collaboration with its partners, is confident that once complete, this technical and engineering marvel will be one of the most outstanding structures in the world,” said Al Mawlawi.
Ashghal will work more on detailed designs and finalise contractors for the project in 2014, he said. The Peninsula