x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Interchange One to end traffic disruption

Four years of traffic trouble to end soon with the opening of a Sheikh Zayed Road interchange.

DUBAI // An end may be in sight, just another few months away, for drivers who have endured disrupted traffic at a major Dubai interchange for the past four years.

Construction at Interchange One on Sheikh Zayed Road, also known as Defence Roundabout, began in December 2006 and was scheduled to be completed in 2009. But 18 months after that date, the work is still not finished.

But the Dh618million project to create ramps and flyover bridges is now mostly complete, and should be ready by May. The main flyover, which allows traffic to cross Sheikh Zayed Road, was opened a few months ago.

The RTA thanked residents and road users in the area for their patience during the construction work. Maitha bin Adai, the chief executive of the RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency, said in a statement that sections of the project had started to open a year ago, and the whole thing was "anticipated to be completed by the end of May 2011".

"The remaining works in the project which affects the traffic are only part of Al Safa Road and the underpass on street 308 [on the north-west side of Sheikh Zayed Road]."

He added that there had been no reports of accidents during construction.

Mohammed Tariq, a commuter who needs to cross Defence Roundabout to get to work, said that although traffic congestion had eased a little since the flyover opened, his journey continued to be difficult. "Rush hour is a nightmare, and you can see the frustration of some drivers," he said. "No one is patient and there's no consideration for other drivers. I just want an end to the bumper-to-bumper traffic that we have had over the past few years."

For others, the issue of safety needs to be addressed by the RTA."I see an accident or a near miss on Al Safa Street five or six times a week," said Amanda Gifford, a British expatriate who lives in Jumeirah One.

"To be fair, it has improved slightly recently but the mornings and evenings are still pretty bad.

"The road that goes around the Toyota building [overlooking the roundabout] is always packed during rush hour as I think it's only one lane and takes you on to Sheikh Zayed Road towards Abu Dhabi."

nhanif@thenational.ae