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City bridges on the rise in Kuwait

local2KUWAIT: A surge in bridge projects of all sizes has been observed across Kuwait in the recent years as city growth gains momentum with that of all Gulf countries. This is a result of the rapid expansion of the cities and the accelerating need for effective, efficient and sustainable transport network. Amongst the road projects being floated in the $5 million to $100 million range either underway or in the tender stage, including the $200 million upgrade of the First Ring Road, is one of the largest road development projects worldwide which is valued at $860 million - the Jamal Abdul Nasser Road Development Project.

Jamal Abdul Nasser Street Development Project is a strategic venture put forward, and currently being undertaken, by the Ministry of Public Works of Kuwait. The implementation-in-progress aims to transform the existing Jamal Abdul-Nasser Street into an internationally standardized multi-levelled expressway extending from the Jahra Gate (Jahra Gate Roundabout - Sheraton) to Grenada area in the western region of Kuwait. The Ministry has employed the joint venture of Louis Berger Group and Pace to undertake the design and construction supervision of the project with a total cost of KD 242.4 million to include multi leveled elevated highway standard viaducts alongside the upgrading and reconstruction of the existing service roads to provide additional traffic lanes with enhanced utilities infrastructure.

The development of the Jamal Abdul Nasser Street is part of the ongoing plans in the state to further enhance the existing network of transport infrastructure. Through increasing the traffic capacity of the road, and improving its safety, the ease of traffic flow will be maintained thereby reducing congestions and traffic accidents.

The project comprises five phases of work that are being addressed simultaneously. The first phase starts from the Airport road roundabout until the First Ring Road (Al Salam Palace). Phase 2 is from Sabah Hospital road roundabout up till Grenada area toward Jahra City. The 3rd phase extends from Al-Razi Hospital interchange to Ghazali roundabout while Phase 4 extends from Ghazali roundabout to the Airport road roundabout. Lastly, Phase 5 encompasses the Ghazali Interchange with Jamal Abdul Nasser.

The caliber of this project is measured by its advanced and large-scaled structural propositions as it ranks as one of the largest multilevel road projects in the world. Attempting this in such a busy metropolis like Kuwait city, along with the fact that it is upgrading an existing busy road; required very particular methods of construction that do not impede or disrupt the traffic flow or perturb public environment dynamics. The undertaking of this grand infrastructural development entails a series of sophisticated large scaled operations. Its engineering, and complicacy of location, required the utilization of the latest innovations in bridge constructions.

Services and Utilities
In addition to transforming the Jamal Abdul Nasser into a unified highway, the project plans also includes the renovation of a number of utilities and drainage structures along the length of the project route which will require relocation, protection, and refurbishment. Renovation works include relocation of water lines and sewage system, relocation of telephone services, gas lines and voltage cables in addition to other preservation works.

Precast Yard
The fully utilized Precast Yard is set up on a remote area of land located in Doha with a total surface area of 130,000square meters. It accommodates large-scaled pre-casting machinery such as mold production frames, heavy gantries, water tanks, storage and curing chambers. In addition to the staff offices and the concrete batching plant.

The precast yard provides a greater space for work and a congested environment in which the quality of the segments can be assured with regard to consistency, meeting strength requirements and establishing a bridge that is durable and requires little maintenance. Other advantages also include easy geometry control and guaranteeing an elevated speed on construction and quality control in addition to very limited or no public disturbance.

In order for the structural works appointed on the existing road to be carried out, an alternate traffic detour for road users is mandatory. Traffic detours, however long they extend, comprise the same properties of the original road including traffic lanes, road width, services such as light poles and road signs.  While trying to maintain ease of traffic flow, detours occasionally may follow a rather irregular path depending on the circumstances and available space surrounding the original road.  The main objective of detours is to reroute the traffic to allow the formation of spaces required for the construction of bridges and the re-location of all utilities.

Every construction job taking place on site must be strictly executed within all environmental standards and regulation placed and developed periodically by the Environmental Public Authority given that this project required a certified specialist with the commission to raise a monthly report to the EPA on all environmental impacts caused by the project. The report includes a monitoringlog of readings and occurrences in all project areastaken through daily visits and field measurements to determine the sources of pollution in the air and noise in the external environment, as well as groundwater, water sanitation, solid waste and liquid waste thereby confirming the implementation of all requirements then proposing the best ways to reduce them in collaboration with the consultant's body of the project.A big percentage of the forestation and greenery lost during implementation will be compensated forwith beautifying gardening in accordance with international standards.

Training programs:
The project executives are constantly developing internationally standardized training programs for national cadres of new engineers and university students; this entailsseveral lectures at the offices of the project on structural works, utility development works and project management, in addition to the practical application through field work at construction sites and the pre-casting yard for bridges segments.

With the total progress of works reaching approximately 18%; the structural works - materializing in the construction of the elevated highway elements including bridge segments, foundations (Piles and Pile caps), piers and diaphragms - are advancing concurrently on construction sites along the project line as well as offsite in the project's segment Pre-Cast yard1054production piles have been bored and tested in all phases of the project entrenched under 68 pile caps. 770additional piles have been completed for the construction of the underpass. 58piers have been erected with a total of 13diaphragms atop. Moreover, over 1150 segments have been cast in the yard and the abutment concrete structure has been constructed in Phase II of the project.

As for road works and relocation and protection of utilities,12 traffic detours have been opened so far alongside Jamal Abdul Nasser's original road with a total distance of 7 km in both directions, having all electric cables relocated and protected. 13 km representing 33% of water supply pipeline relocation, plus 25% of culverts, has been finished, in addition to 20% completion of storm water box culverts. Also, a 1.2 km relocation of sanitary lines is done reaching 23% plus a 14% progress in gas networking works.

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This article was published on 20/09/2013