Kabd - Sulaibiya Highway

The project is focused on upgrading the existing road network in Sulaibiya Area of Kuwait and covers Kabd-Sulaibiya Highway (Route 604), Kabd Sulaibiya Industrial Link, Sixth Ring Road and the extension of 6.5 Ring Road to tie to Kabd-Sulaibiya Highway surrounding West Abdullah Mubarak Housing development.


WSP was commissioned by PART under agreement EF/R/216 to carryout traffic analysis and prepare pre-concept design, concept design, final detailed design and tender documents to upgrade the existing road network in Sulaibiya Area to improve safety, ensure smooth traffic circulation and provide adequate level of service at existing and proposed junctions and interchanges. The project is focused on upgrading three major roadway sections: Kabd-Sulaibiya Highway (Route 604), Kabd-Sulaibiya Industrial Link Road and extension of 6.5 Ring Road surrounding West Abdullah Mubarak (WAM) Housing development. Improvements include: modifications to the existing configurations of interchanges, addition of lanes, depressed roadways, grade separated intersections, dedicated truck lanes with ITS provisions. The project comprises the development of the following interchanges:

  • A new full cloverleaf interchange at the intersection of Kabd-Sulaibiya Highway (604) with Extension of 6.5 Ring Road.
  • Modification to existing configuration of Interchange (I/C 57) at Seventh Ring Road with Kabd-Sulaibiya Highway (604), to be developed as a semi directional interchange.
  • Modification to existing configuration of Interchange (I/C 58) at Sixth Ring Road with Kabd-Sulaibiya Industrial Link Road/Sulaibiya Industrial Road, to be developed as a new full cloverleaf interchange by connecting Kabd-Sulaibiya Industrial Link Road with Sulaibiya Industrial Road through a depressed roadway under the Sixth Ring Road.
  • Improved access to West Abdullah Mubarak Housing development via the Extension of 6.5 Ring Road where two grade separated Roundabout interchanges are provided and via Kabd Sulaibiya Highway (604) where two grade separated Roundabout interchanges are provided.

The upgrade recommendations are packaged into two Construction Contracts: Contract RA/272 (Section of Kabd Sulaibiya Highway (604) including Segment of Kabd Sulaibiya Industrial Link Road and Extension of 6.5 Ring Road); and Contract: RA/273 (Section of Kabd Sulaibiya Industrial Link Road including segments of Kabd Sulaibiya Highway (604), Sixth Ring Road and Seventh Ring Road in the vicinity).

Key aspects of the project are summarized below:

Data Collection Program

  • A detailed topographical survey of sufficient width has been undertaken for the project roadway corridors. This detailed survey has been utilized to create the Digital Terrain Modal (DTM) for the development of the Final Design.
  • A variety of traffic data has been collected for this study including Traffic Count Surveys, Road Inventory Surveys, Travel Time Surveys, Pedestrian Surveys, Truck Route Surveys, Planning data from relevant public authorities; and Public Transit Bus Routes.
  • The project also included preparing an inventory of existing utilities in the project areas and the preparation of diversion plans of these utilities taking into account future plans of service ministries.
  • A comprehensive Geotechnical Investigations was performed that included a conceptual subsurface investigation program consisting of forty-two (42) borings, installation of seven (7) piezometers for long-term ground water level observation and the provision of full-time inspection of the subsurface investigation program.

Review of Existing Traffic Conditions

Extensive site reconnaissance surveys were conducted to gather information on existing traffic conditions within the vicinity of the study area and to assess the physical characteristics and conditions of all major roads for physical constraints, bottlenecks and potential capacity details at key junctions. The base year has been taken as the year 2015.

Detailed capacity analyses were conducted at the key signalized intersections, roundabouts, interchanges and freeway segments using the analytical procedures described in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) 2010.

Forecast Traffic Model

Sub-area Forecast traffic models for year 2030 were developed to evaluate the operational performance of highway concepts developed for project corridors. Sub-area traffic models were developed using the broader national traffic models as a base, network and zone structure enhancements were done to capture the necessary details in the sub-area models developed out of national model. The outputs from 2030 no-build sub-area traffic model were used to identify the future problems and to develop the highway alternatives. Three time periods were modelled in the forecast year; weekday morning (AM) peak, weekday afternoon (AN) peak and weekend evening (PM) peak. These traffic models were utilized to evaluate the alternatives highway concepts that were developed as part of the project.

Options Development

In total, three interchange locations have been identified based on future traffic volumes by considering all future developments. Three Concept alternatives have been developed for each interchange location. All the existing connections apart from these interchange locations have been given access.

Options Assessment

In order to select the system wide preferred option, an assessment methodology was adopted to enable decision makers to highlight advantages and disadvantages of each option.

The technique used for the option comparison is based on “Goal Achievement Matrix”. This allows the options to be evaluated by numerical ‘scaling’ and ‘weighting’ of the engineering, traffic, costs, environmental and planning criteria.

Conceptual and Final Design

The design philosophy for upgrading of existing interchanges and design of new interchanges within the Project Area was to provide free flow condition where traffic volumes warrant, eliminate weaving where practical, maintain access to all the existing developments through interchanges or collector distributor (CD) roads and providing access to future developments along proposed improvements. Additionally, roadway improvements recommended as part of West Abdullah Al-Mubarak Housing project Traffic Impact Study are designed as part of the project.

In total, three Grade Separated interchanges have been designed along with six Depressed Roadways having At-Grade roundabouts based on future traffic volumes by considering all future developments.

Relocation and Diversion of Utilities

Existing utilities diversion, relocation and protection plans have been developed for all the utilities that are affected by the design of Kabd-Sulaibiya highway project.

Temporary Traffic Management during Construction

Maintenance Of Traffic plans were developed for the three major interchanges, six underpasses and corridor roadways. As per the requirements of MOI, at least three lanes in either direction of travel were provided on temporary detour roadways. 

Approval process – stakeholder agencies

We have recognized that the concept design solutions for the road in this study must be agreed by all relevant authorities and must fit within the overriding strategy developed by the Kuwait Municipality, PART and MOI. Therefore our approach was developed to communicate with stakeholder government agencies very early in the pre-concept design phase and to involve them as much as possible in the concept design process. This helped everyone to understand design limitations, advantages and disadvantages of all options possible. As a result, it was easier for the PART and concerned agencies to make decisions on the preferred options.

Key deliverables

  • Pre-Concept Design
  • Concept Design
  • Final Detailed Design
  • Tender Documents
  • Environmental Impact Assessment


General Project Data

Date of Agreement Signed: 14 December 2015

Date of Enterprise: 10 January 2016

Original Agreement Period: 24 months

  • Conceptual Design (Phase-I): 14 months
  • Final Design (Phase-II): 8 months
  • Tender Evaluation and Preparation of Contract Documents (Phase III): 2 months (Optional)