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The Great White Sharq

An insight into the Sharq Crossing Project in Doha, Qatar

Doha Today
Qatar’s capital city Doha is home to nearly 2 million people and its population is increasing significantly. Transport is a top priority and Qatar’s Greater Doha traffic master plan provides a solution for future transport needs. Many feasibility studies have been conducted to alleviate the terrible traffic congestion which currently exists in Doha without the added burden from the preparation works of the fast approaching FIFA World Cup. 

Concern for the Future
There is increasing concern regarding the rising input costs stemming from the country’s aggressive infrastructure build-out and limited capacity to import construction materials. Competition for manpower and bureaucratic delays has led authorities to reschedule 15% of the country’s development projects that are not essential for hosting the World Cup 2022.

Sharq Crossing Programme
One programme the Qatar Government is pressing ahead with is the Sharq Crossing. Designed by world-renowned architect, engineer and artist Santiago Calatrava, the project is dubbed as one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever undertaken in the Middle East. The crossing will significantly enhance Qatar’s transportation network ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is slated to be instantly recognisable across the World acting as an “emblem” for Qatar.

The Sharq Crossing, an ambitious bridge and tunnel system with a fluid design will consist of three iconic bridges linked by 8km of subsea tunnels. The crossing will span Doha Bay, linking the new Hamad International Airport and the capital’s business and leisure districts. The three bridges linked by the tunnels have been designed to create the appearance of a flying fish as the bridges “leap out of the water.” 

The Sharq Crossing is forecast to be capable of handling 6,000 vehicles an hour, taking some of the pressure off existing roads.

Components of the Sharq Crossing Programme
West Bay Bridge is a two-deck tied arched structure incorporating a “longitudinal park” and cable car system, extending to an island of terraced levels providing recreational facilities and a marina. The longitudinal park extends via an elevated walkway, from the proposed Corniche Park to the bridge portal island offshore from the West Bay area. The bridge touches land with a small pedestrian bridge and a shaded canopy for cable-car users while road traffic is maintained through an immersed tube tunnel. 

Cultural Village Bridge comprises a series of cable-stayed structures that skim across the bay in a pattern of descending scales creating a long bridge thus reducing the lengths of the submerged tunnel links. 

Sharq Bridge is a tubular structure which spans the inlet adjacent to Doha’s new Hamad International Airport. While necessarily of low profile to accommodate air traffic, the bridge offers a novel, sleek conceptual form providing new visitors to Doha with their first stunning view of downtown Doha’s skyline. 

Implementing the most stringent international design standards, the Sharq Crossing bridges will be developed in a way to minimise long-term impact on the marine environment.

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.

Why Immersed Tube Tunnels?
Connecting each of the three bridges are immersed tube tunnels designed to meet international traffic management and safety management requirements. The Immersed tunnels are composed of 25 m segments constructed in a dry dock. They are joined to form longer tunnel sections of 150 m or more and floated to the tunnel site where they are submerged and linked together. The benefit of this type of tunnel is that it reduces construction time and impact on shipping and in many cases it provides a cost effective solution for river crossings when compared to bridges or bored tunnels, especially when such rivers have to cater for ocean going vessels

Cost, Time & Logistics
The price tag is around $12 billion with the first tenders on the project to be awarded sometime during 2014. There will likely be 4-7 packages covering the three bridges, which vary between 600m and 1.3km, and the tunnel sections.

Construction is slated to start in 2015 and wrap up by 2021.

Logistics could be a nightmare with as much as possible moved via water. Supply and resource will be competing with all of the other major ongoing projects so pre booking or purchasing production areas will be required together with serious risk management on any long lead or specialized items.

Job opportunities on the Sharq Crossing
Having the “Sharq Crossing Project” on your CV will undoubtedly be invaluable. For upcoming opportunities please keep an eye on our website www.maximrecruitment.com or get in touch with our Middle East recruiting team; Stuart Hackett stuart@maximrecruitment.com or Richard Poulter on richard@maximrecruitment.com

Richard Poulter
Maxim Recruitment 




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