x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

The Dubai Smile is no bridge too far

Construction will stand 100m at its tallest point rising 15m above Creek level, and will stretch 400m wide to let large yachts pass through.

The new construction will have 12 lanes and would replace the Floating Bridge.
The new construction will have 12 lanes and would replace the Floating Bridge.

DUBAI // A 12-lane crossing is to replace Dubai's Floating Bridge, the Roads and Transport Authority said yesterday. The Dh810 million (US$220m) bridge, designed like an inverted arc, has already been nicknamed the Dubai Smile. The design for the seventh crossing across the Dubai Creek has been approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai. It will be near Dubai Creek Park and Dubai Courts at Bur Dubai, and Deira City Centre and Dubai Golf Club on the other bank and is expected to ease traffic congestion across the creek as it can accommodate around 24,000 cars an hour.

Matar al Tayer, the chairman and executive director of the RTA, said: "The seventh crossing ranks among the landmark projects undertaken by the RTA, which aims to ease traffic flow across Dubai Creek. "The RTA is keen to turn the seventh crossing into an iconic, distinctive structure of Dubai." He said companies from around the world had been invited to submit designs and the best one was selected based on specific technical criteria. The bridge is expected to be completed by 2012.

The Floating Bridge is routinely clogged during rush hour. The constant flow of traffic near the Deira City Centre junction leaves frustrated motorists stuck waiting on the floating bridge. The new bridge is an initiative to relieve the traffic jams, officials said. It will have six lanes and a footpath in each direction and be able to accommodate about 24,000 vehicles an hour. "This will boost the intake of surrounding roads and ease traffic across the Creek, particularly in the neighbouring area of City Centre," said Mr Tayer.

The bridge, which will be 100 metres high at its tallest point, will rise 15 metres above level of the Creek, and be 400 metres wide, enabling large yachts to pass through. Presently, the floating bridge is closed in at nights to allow boats to pass along the creek. On the Bur Dubai side the bridge would also connect with a new underpass near Rashid hospital, while on the Deira side the bridge would be linked with Al Ittihad Road for motorists travelling to Sharjah, officials said.

A date for the start of work has not yet been finalised. pmenon@thenational.ae