• Transport Ministry tenders Sharq Crossing study
  • Consultancy work will involve value engineering and procurement strategies
  • Project was delayed by a year as focus shifted to World Cup projects

Qatar’s Transport Ministry has issued tenders for a study on the cost and delivery of the landmark Sharq Crossing scheme that could lead to the project being revived.

The closing date for offers is 1 June, and according to the ministry, the consultancy contract will involve value engineering, setting financial architecture and formulating a contract strategy for the execution of the project.

Sources close to the project say that although the Transport Ministry, which was formed last year, is reviewing the project, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is still responsible for the delivery.

MEED reported in January that Doha had delayed the delivery of its landmark Sharq Crossing scheme by about a year as the government decided the scheme did not need to be completed in time for Fifa’s football World Cup in 2022.

One of the main difficulties for the government when considering the delivery of the project is understood to have been cost and scheduling uncertainties – two things that will be addressed by the new study tendered by the Transport Ministry.

Although the delay to the crossing, which was expected to be tendered to contractors this year, was a blow to contractors prequalifying to bid, the rephrasing of the project did take some pressure off Qatar’s construction market, which showed signs of overheating during 2014.

The Sharq Crossing, which was formerly known as the Doha Bay Crossing, was the subject of growing speculation during the latter half of 2014 as progress slowed and a consultant was not hired to finalise the packages and prepare the tender documents.

The consultancy role involved working closely with Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who prepared the concept designs for the bridges for the 12-kilometre-long crossing.

The Sharq Crossing project was officially launched in December 2013 by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). It is one of the biggest infrastructure schemes planned in Qatar and involves building three bridges interconnected by subsea tunnels across Doha Bay, which, when completed, will link Doha’s new Hamad International airport with the city’s cultural district of Katara and the central business area of West Bay.

Ashghal appointed US-based Fluor Corporation in April 2013 as the programme management consultant to supervise the development of the project.

If the project is accelerated in 2016, tenders could follow fairly quickly. Contractors submitted a second set of prequalification documents for the scheme on 18 October 2014. It is understood 13-14 groups were invited by Ashghal to submit stage 2 documents for the tunnels, and 19-21 groups have been invited to submit forms for the bridges.

The work will be split into eight packages:

  • Land-based enabling works
  • Marine-based enabling works
  • West Bay approach and bridge
  • Cultural City approach and bridge
  • Sharq approach and bridge
  • Immersed tunnel and marine interchange
  • Surface street modifications
  • Systems integration contract

There will also be an operations and maintenance (O&M) contract.

The most significant packages are the design-and-build contracts covering the West Bay approach and bridge, the Cultural City approach and bridge, the Sharq approach and bridge, and the immersed tunnel and marine interchange contract.

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