Qatar’s Urban Planning & Development Authority (UPDA) is reviewing the preliminary design for a sub-sea tunnel planned for Doha, which could cost up to $1bn.

Denmark’s Cowi has submitted a feasibility study and concept design to the urban planning authority for approval. If the project is approved, the 12-kilometre tunnel will eventually link the financial centre in Doha with the New Doha International Airport, which is being built. The first phase of the new airport is scheduled to open at the end of 2011.

The final budget for the tunnel project has not yet been decided but the scheme is not included in an existing $20bn road building programme created by Doha, says Jamal Shareeda Al-Kaabi, acting manager of the design department for roads and drainage at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).

Final decisions on the project’s budget, the construction timeline and other details will hopefully be made later in 2010, adds Al-Kaabi.

Qatar is investing heavily in its transport infrastructure to address the issue of congestion in and around the capital (MEED 27:1:10).