Qatar’s Ras Abu Aboud cut and cover tunnel opened last month. It forms part of the Ras Abu Aboud Road project. The project, a joint venture between Yuksel Insaat and local contractor MIDMAC began in 2007 and was completed in October 2009. The tunnel took one year to complete.

The US$200M project involved the construction of new bridges, two underpasses and the 350m tunnel.

The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee oversaw the project. The tunnel, regarded as a vital central feature of the airport links Wakrah Road and Doha’s waterfront promenade, the Corniche.

Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chief executive officer and NDIA Steering Committee chairman Abdul Aziz al-Noaimi told T&TI that the main challenge encountered during construction of the tunnel was excavation in hard-rocky sub layers approximately 12m below ground level.

Dewatering also posed a challenge as the tunnel was just 200m from the seashore. Round-the-clock dewatering pipes were employed during excavation and concrete placement.

Al-Noaimi said, “The tunnel walls were fairly stable due to the presence of rocks and stable subsurface conditions. Some shoring means were put in place to ensure stability of the slopes during the excavation process.“

The 16m wide tunnel features many hi-tech attributes including light and sound alarms triggered by vehicles exceeding the 5.5m height restriction. Additional technology controls pollution levels and monitors speed.

Al-Noaimi praised the tunnel at its opening ceremony. He described it as being “a futuristic street, integrating drainage networks, water irrigation system, electrical and communication cables, as well as security devices.”