Ashghal Projects: International Standards, Record Times

Ashghal Projects: International Standards, Record Times By A Robin - November 13, 2022
Ashghal Qatar

Ashghal Qatar

Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and its employees have spared no effort to implement projects related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 according to the highest international standards and in record times while maintaining the safety of workers and adding aesthetic touches and Qatari culture to all their work.

Ashghal was committed to implementing projects that serve World Cup stadiums and completing the surrounding roads to facilitate access to all stadiums through an advanced network of highways and main roads. It was able to complete an integrated network with high international standards that serves all parts of the country and provides highways and vital roads linking major cities and residential areas, as all highway projects surrounding the stadiums have been completed.

The Authority has also completed work on many beaches, public parks, service buildings, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and rainwater and groundwater drainage networks to enhance social welfare and a healthy lifestyle within the country and provide recreational places for Qatars guests during the World Cup. These new facilities will be a sustainable legacy after the tournament. The Authority did not neglect to give an Arab and Islamic character and highlight the Qatari identity in the buildings, facilities and projects implemented in cooperation with the relevant authorities in the country.

In this context, HE President of the Public Works Authority Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi confirmed the continuation of efforts after the inauguration of any projects to carry out the necessary operation and maintenance work throughout the year according to approved programs and plans.

In exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA), HE said that Ashghal formed an integrated team to survey, study and test all road assets around the stadiums hosting the event to ensure the quality of road components such as asphalt, road signs, safety barriers, sewage, street lighting, pedestrian crossing paths and traffic lights to ensure their readiness.

He added that in cooperation with the concerned authorities represented by the General Traffic Department in the Ministry of Interior and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, a study is being conducted on road closures, traffic diversions and alternative road plans to facilitate the movement of individuals and residents in areas surrounding the stadiums during the tournament. Necessary operational plans were developed and are constantly updated according to the lessons learned and in line with the situation of the area. Rapid emergency response plans are also developed to prepare for any emergency event around the clock.

Regarding the Authority's efforts during the tournament, Al Muhannadi affirmed Ashghal's keenness to use electronic boards on the roads to inform fans of road conditions, how to reach the stadium and the parking lots for fans of all categories. The situation is also monitored through the Roads Management Center (RMC) at Ashghal and the Tournament Transport Coordination Centre (TTCC) and the stadiums control room, through advanced surveillance cameras (CCTV), and control of traffic lights to ensure smooth traffic on the road during and after the event.

He added that a team of Qatari engineers and specialists is currently organizing and implementing various scenarios (exercises) for emergencies on roads around the stadiums hosting the tournament to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and movement of the public, in partnership with the General Directorate of Traffic at the Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Kahramaa. So far, nearly 30 hypothetical scenarios have been implemented throughout the year to prepare for the big event.

The President of Ashghal stressed the Authority's commitment to take care of the workforce working in its projects and protect it from injuries at work sites in general, emphasizing the Authority's keenness to always apply a set of regulations and procedures to ensure the health and safety of workers, such as conducting several programs, the most important of which is the medical examination for workers to detect chronic diseases that may increase risks of heat stress. This is while adhering to the working hours in accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. (17) of 2021 regarding the necessary precautions to protect workers from heat stress at work sites. The Public Works Authority won two International Safety Awards 2020 from the British Safety Council, in recognition of its commitment to maintaining the safety and health of workers and workplaces during 2019.

HE explained that Ashghal aims, through all its programs, projects and services, to promote best practices, encourage innovations and adopt new technologies with an emphasis on achieving environmental sustainability. In this context, Ashghal is working to promote sustainability and recycling initiatives as a primary objective, as it raised the percentage of recycled materials used in projects to 20 percent of the total materials used at the beginning of this year. This included recycling asphalt materials and using treated wastewater in cooling systems, irrigating green spaces and growing fodder. Additionally, it used recycled tire rubber in the asphalt mixture and recycled demolition and construction waste, among others, with the aim of achieving the sustainable development goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. 

Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi explained that Ashghal is using a new construction technique in some highway projects, called the 'balanced cantilever method' for the first time in Qatar to build high-level intersections, which includes building concrete parts on site without any interruption to traffic flow. The Authority is also currently implementing many integrated project management systems such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is a collaborative way to design, build and operate assets using 3D models and tools. Ashghal is also a pioneer in the large-scale Lean initiative in Qatar.

HE added that they invested in various new technologies, including road survey technology, which is one of the best sustainable solutions for the operation and maintenance of roads to ensure their condition and compliance with standards, in addition to examining the asphalt layer and discovering surface defects. Ashghal also implemented a three-dimensional radar system (3D GPR) for road inspection, asphalt survey, and under-layer inspection of roads, bridges and sewage network. Radar beams penetrate the surface layers of asphalt to reach the lower layers in order to identify any shortcomings or gaps in the foundations before they appear on the surface.

HE President of the Public Works Authority pointed out that Ashghal is constructing the largest electric charging station in the region that operates on solar energy, adding that high-efficiency solar cell canopies will be established for a bus station, making it the first one that operates only on solar energy in the region. When completed, the public bus infrastructure program aims to integrate with various public transport systems to support transportation operations during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and beyond. The program also aims to increase the number of public transport users over the next few years by introducing high quality facilities. 

Ashghal completed more than 1791 km of roads, in addition to 207 bridges and 143 tunnels. Most notable projects were Al Majd Road, Al Khor Road, Lusail Road, and G-Ring Road, in addition to the Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor. These projects and other main and local roads link not only stadiums, but also contribute to quick and easy access for fans moving between the stadiums and the most important vital and surrounding tourist areas. They also provide access to various transportation facilities.

Al Majd Road, which is 195km long, is considered one of the most important arteries of the highway network in Qatar, not only because of its importance when it comes to traffic, but also in terms of design and implementation. It consists of 7 lanes in each direction, separating trucks from cars, making it the backbone of the road network in Qatar.

The Sabah Al-Ahmad Corridor is also of great importance within the highway network completed over the past few years. It is 29km long and provides access to most of the FIFA World Cup stadiums, such as Stadium 974, Al Thumama Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium and Education City Stadium. The Corridor plays a significant role in reducing traffic congestion in Doha in general.

As for Al Khor Road, it is 33 km long and consists of 5 lanes in each direction. It is connect to Al Bayt Stadium and Lusail Stadium and has the Olympic Cycling Track. 

To promote a healthy lifestyle in the country, Ashghal constructed 2131 km of pedestrian and bicycle paths in most of the local road and highway projects. These paths are connected to all stadiums hosting World Cup matches. Additionally, 16 bridges and 5 pedestrian tunnels were also constructed. 

This connected and safe network of bicycle paths contributes to changing the lifestyle of community members through using healthy means of transportation that encourages exercise and enables cycling enthusiasts to practice their favorite activity. Traffic safety procedures and conditions are taken into account when designing these lanes. They are designed in a way that ensures their safety when entering traffic junctions along the road. The pedestrian and bicycle paths also connect between the stadiums hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches and fan zones, as well as residential areas, and tourist areas. These routes also connect to bus stations, metro stations, park and ride and park and walk areas.

In cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and other relevant authorities, Ashghal is constructing parking lots for cars, buses and taxis to facilitate fans’ access to stadiums, avoid congestion and improve traffic in areas surrounding stadiums during matches. The Authority is also working on multi-purpose areas under the disposal of the Committee to meet all its needs for equipment storage and parking lots. Work was done on parking lots on a total area of more than 6 million square meters. Furthermore, Ashghal also completed the overall works of the Lusail Bus Depot, which comes within the State's plan to develop the transportation sector. The Lusail Bus Depot provides parking for approximately 478 electric buses serving the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches.
To encourage citizens and resident to follow a healthy lifestyle, the Supervisory Committee for Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar seeks to create a healthy, social and cultural environment through developing and beautifying the center of Doha and Corniche Street and providing pedestrian-friendly transportation, in addition to increasing green areas and planting trees, as more than 11 million meters of greenery have been completed. Additionally, more than 900,000 trees have been planted as part of the "Qatar Beautification" and "Our Children Plant Trees" initiatives, launched in 2019. Furthermore, 11 parks and green spaces have been development to serve the public. 

The Committee also completed several development and maintenance projects for beaches to serve the masses during the FIFA World Cup Qatar. Twelve public beaches and recreational areas were developed, including rest and game areas, kiosks, and pedestrians and bicycle paths in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality.

The Supervisory Committee for Beautification of Roads and Public Places is improving the features of Doha through the development and expansion of some roads and many intersections, which in turn enhances safety and achieves the required flow on the road network during the tournament. These works include the development of 8 main boroughs between the Corniche and the A-Ring Road, in addition to the beautification of the main and internal streets. The works in central Doha and the Corniche are currently being completed, and the finishing touches are being put to pedestrian paths, parking lots and West Bay. 

The Committee launched a number of cosmetic initiatives, including Jedary Art program to beautify the walls of central Doha area through murals and art, in cooperation with the most prominent Qatari artists, as well as the Zeina initiative to beautify and decorate the facades of workplaces, schools, universities and real estate, in cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Municipality, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Qatar Museums and Central Municipal Council.

Ashghal is also working on the construction of several public buildings such as Lusail Bus Station and Depot, Al Sudan Bus Station, in addition to the Panda House project and Umm Al Seneem Park in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality, Dar Al-Kutub project with the Ministry of Culture, and the development of Museum of Islamic Art with Qatar Museums, as well as housing units for FIFA World Cup fans in Ras Bufontas, Lusail and Al Rayyan.


By A Robin - November 13, 2022

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