Last September, Kuwait’s Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity and Water, Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim, described the $927.8 million Jahra and Jamal Abdul Nasser road projects as 2 of the major infrastructure and road projects in the entire Middle East region.
“I believe these two projects will change the makeup of the traffic map in the State of Kuwait,” Al-Ibrahim stated during an inspection tour of the projects.
“Jamal Abdul Nasser Road Development Project is one of Kuwait’s major development projects,” he announced, adding that the project is meant to enhance the motorway system in Kuwait.
The Louis Berger-Pace joint venture is currently providing design, construction supervision and construction management services for the project. Louis Berger completed the design in 2009 and construction started in September 2010.
At the time, the project was considered the biggest infrastructure project ever tendered by the ministry and one of the biggest viaducts in the Middle East.
The Jamal Abdul Nasser Street Development Project is one of an influx of bridge projects to have been initiated across Kuwait in recent years, as the City has expanded in a similar fashion to other Gulf countries.
This is a result of the rapid expansion of the cities and the accelerating need for effective, efficient and sustainable transport network.
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-levelled elevated highway standard viaducts alongside the upgrading and reconstruction of the existing service roads to provide additional traffic lanes with enhanced utilities infrastructure,” states Engineer Mahmoud Hajji Ramadan, JANDP Project Engineer (Ministry of Public Works – Kuwait ), Road Engineering Section, Motorways Department.
“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,” he continues.
The project comprises of 5 phases of work that are being addressed simultaneously.
The first phase starts from the Airport road roundabout and stretches up to the First Ring Road (Al Salam Palace). Phase 2 is from Sabah Hospital road roundabout up till Grenada area toward Jahra City. The third 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 calibre of this project is measured by its advanced and large-scaled structural propositions as it ranks as one of the largest multi-level road projects in the world,” affirms Ramadan.
“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,” he adds.
The intention is not only to transform the Jamal Abdul Nasser into a unified highway, but 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 will include the relocation of water lines and sewage system, relocation of telephone services, gas lines and voltage cables in addition to other preservation works.
To help facilitate the work undertaken, a Precast Yard has been established, as Ramadan describes:
“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 mould 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.”
Of course for a project of this scale, minimising disruption is something that needs great planning ahead.
In order for the structural works appointed on the existing road to be carried out, an alternate traffic detour for road users was a mandatory requirement.
“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,” says Ramadan.
The legacy of the project will be more far reaching than just developing an improved road system though; those working on this plan are receiving training that will hone skills for a lifetime as Ramadan explains:
“The project executives are constantly developing internationally standardized training programs for national cadres of new engineers and university students; this entails several 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.”
The Jamal Abdul Nasser Street Development continues to make great strides and it is reported that the total progress of works is now approaching the 18 per cent mark.
“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 yard.
“To date 1,054 production piles have been bored and tested in all phases of the project entrenched under 68 pile caps. 770 additional piles have been completed for the construction of the underpass. 58 piers have been erected with a total of 13 diaphragms atop. Moreover, in excess of 1,150 segments have been cast in the yard and the abutment concrete structure has been constructed in Phase II of the project,” Ramadan outlines.
The project is in good shape and should be completed by October 2016, helping to transform Kuwait City.