x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Three-quarters of key Dubai road projects to be complete by mid-2011

Two phases of work on Sheikh Zayed Road, including one in the busy Business Bay area, and streets leading to Dubai Sports City, will be ready in 2011.

DUBAI // Three of four key road projects launched this year, including a vital phase of the ambitious Parallel Roads scheme, will be complete by the middle of next year according to a senior official at the roads and transport Authority.

Two phases of work on the Sheikh Zayed Road, including one in the busy Business Bay area, and streets leading to Dubai Sports City will be ready in 2011, said the RTA roads director, Nabeel Mohammed Saleh. Additional works in the Al Barsha district will be ready by early 2012. The programmes cost Dh400 million.

The Parallel Roads network will stretch almost 130 kilometres when completed over the next three years, with four tunnels and more than 50 bridges and interchanges.

In response to residents' complaints of inconvenience, Mr Saleh said the Dh4.4 billion project was necessary to help ease congestion in the long run.

"We shall complete roads and interchanges but we also must take up new projects to improve the flow of traffic," he said.

The scheme will include two parallel corridors between the Sheikh Zayed and Al Khail roads extending from the Sheikh Rashid Road to the Abu Dhabi border. The Business Bay segment aims to link that network with internal roads of the commercial district to ease traffic flow and tie into roadworks extending to the Al Khail Road.

All that construction naturally leads to diversions and traffic snafus which can be frustrating for motorists. While the new roads are a boon for some, others see the constant building as a daily obstacle course.

"I do love the quick route of taking Al Khail to Motor City, but I hate the Al Khail roundabouts. There are just too many of them," said Jan Kovalenko, a teacher from Russia, about travelling to Dubai's newer communities. "The Business Bay crossing is convenient because I can cut across quickly to Mirdif and save 20 minutes when rushing to meet friends."

Still, that doesn't mean everyone is happy about the situation. Mr Kovalenko said colleagues living in Business Bay were tired of driving up mounds of sand near their residential blocks instead of roads. The RTA has said the traffic diversion in the district were temporary.

Also on the RTA radar is the chronic congestion when driving into and out of Sharjah. Ongoing work on Al Ittihad Road project attempts to tackle this by doubling the two lanes in the underpasses and connecting the Sheikh Rashid Road to the Al Maktoom Road via a bridge for incoming traffic from the Garhoud area.

Another centrepiece undertaking is the Dh617 million First Interchange, one of the emirate's biggest, with 3km of bridges and tunnels spread over 850 metres. Construction in the busy business district near the landmark Burj Khalifa and the Financial Centre will be completed by the end of January.

The RTA will allow access to the interchange in phases. The project's final stage next month will throw open a main tunnel parallel to the Sheikh Zayed Road linking the crowded Al Satwa and Al Wasl areas.