In an exercise aimed at helping all stakeholders in the country's construction industry, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) launched a guide for traffic management in work zones.
Describing it as an "inevitable instrument" for those involved in the construction sector at a time when the country is witnessing rapid growth in infrastructure development, the Ashghal authorities said the guide would replace the existing manual for traffic control and road works.
The guide was formally launched during a meeting held at Hilton Hotel, which was attended by senior officials of Ashghal, the Ministry of Interior's Traffic Department, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), Supreme Education Council (SEC), Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, and Ooredoo, along with representatives of the construction industry.
Ashghal's Director for Infrastructure Affairs Jalal Yousef al-Salehi introduced the features of the guide to the gathering.
Speaking later, Ashghal Managing Director Nasser al-Mawlawi said: "The Work Zone Traffic Management guide is intended to substantially reduce construction workers' exposure to the hazards of traffic. The guidelines also offer consistency and positive guidance to road users in the country's different work zones."
The new guide, explained al-Mawlawi, will help improve traffic management around work sites as it prescribes internationally-practised safety standards and regulations.
The guide has adopted procedures that are widely approved and acknowledged in the construction industry, outline strict work zone safety measures and ensure a road environment that is safe for all users and workers while construction work is under way. The manual will also help facilitate smooth traffic flow in areas where construction activities are taken up.
Ashghal's road maintenance and operations manager Yousef Abdurahman el-Emadi said the document would provide clear and comprehensive guidance on traffic management to different agencies, officials, contractors and consultants. The guide, he added, sets uniform standards of traffic control for different work zones in the country, depending on the requirements of each site.
The Ashghal official said besides elaborating on temporary traffic measures that are usually adopted at work zones to instruct road users, the guide also has details of the special signs put up at these site and the processes that should be followed to ensure total compliance.
Inquiries with the official found that Ashghal would work in tandem with the SEC in the coming days while executing work in the vicinity of around 200 educational institutions across Qatar. "It will be undertaken in a phased manner depending on the priority accorded to each work," said al-Emadi.
Besides ensuring the safety and security of the country's schoolchildren, the agency is also planning to spread awareness among the country's residents about safety precautions that need to be taken at construction sites.
Ashghal, which oversees planning, design, procurement, construction, delivery and asset management of all infrastructure projects and important public buildings, is set to undertake construction of projects estimated to be worth over QR100bn in the next 5-7 years.