Qatar is a country with ambitious plans for infrastructure development. It has set out a National Vision for 2030 and within this timeframe the nation is hosting the Football World Cup in 2022.
This week, Qatar’s Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ has unveiled one of the country’s most important infrastructure projects that will provide, it is hoped, an iconic image for the city of Doha to the world.
Doha’s Sharq Crossing is certainly extremely ambitious; it will comprise three bridges interconnected by subsea tunnels spanning a 10 km stretch of water and linking Doha’s Hamad International Airport with the city’s cultural district of Katara in the north and the downtown central business district of West Bay. The 12 km project is designed by architect, engineer and artist Santiago Calatrava and will become a new landmark for Qatar. The inter-connected bridges will be between 600 and 1,310 m in length and connect to 8 km of subsea tunnels. Calatrava’s design is inspired by natural forms, and draws from the image of flying fish to form arcs rising from the water. The Architect stated, “Architecture for public works humanises the natural landscape and serves the community. The Sharq Crossing project for Doha is a great opportunity to develop an exceptional and grand piece of public work.”
On the practicalities, Health and safety has been carefully considered across all aspects of the crossing and specifically tunnel design, combining enhanced fire-resistant structures with ventilation, smoke exhaust and dedicated pressurised escape routes. The crossing tunnels have been designed to meet strict international traffic management and safety requirements.
The project is one of the most technologically advanced building and complex programmes being undertaken by Ashghal to enhance Qatar’s transportation network.
Ashghal has appointed Fluor Corporation as the programme management consultant for construction supervision of Sharq Crossing, which is estimated to commence by 2015.