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25 June 2024

6 new Dubai roads that might make you change your daily commute this year

By Bindu Rai

As the new Sheikh Zayed Road Interchange 2 flyover readies to open to southbound commute, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has unveiled its plans that will put the brakes on traffic as we know it by end of 2016.

While key interchanges and widening of road junctions will ease daily gridlock across the emirate, neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s new expressway will also take the onus off Sheikh Zayed Road being the only artery to connect Dubai to the capital.

RTA revealed its annual expenditure budget of Dh7.609 billion for the year 2016, Emirates 24|7 takes a look at projects that will change your daily commute for the better before year-end:

Dubai-Abu Dhabi expressway

Where: Extension of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road

When: 2016 year-end

The Abu Dhabi General Service Company announced this week that the construction of a Dh2.1bn new highway linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai is 70 per cent complete.

The road, spanning from Seih Shuaib to Sweihan Interchange, is expected to be completed by this year-end.

“The new highway will relieve the traffic pressure on the current Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road, bring down the number of accidents, connect Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone with the current and future road network,” Faisal Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Highways at the Department of Transport, said in a statement.

When complete, the project will form part of an additional road linking Abu Dhabi with Dubai and the Northern Emirates, he further said.

The highway, comprising four lanes in both directions, is an extension of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road (E311) in Seih Shuaib, at the Dubai border.

It will pass through Al Maha Forest, Kizad, Al Ajban Road and Zayed Military City to Sweihan Road.

In addition, it will also include six bridges and six underground passes, boosting safety on the road.

Dubai Canal

Where: From Business Bay until Beach Road

When: Year-end 2016

The much-awaited Dubai Canal project is finally ready for a year-end unveiling.

Among the number of projects currently underway, “to be completed this year is the Dubai Water Canal project, which would be fully complete by the year-end,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of RTA, earlier this week.

At the beginning of 2016, RTA had confirmed the Dubai Canal project completion rate has so far reached 61 per cent.

After the opening of the northbound bridge earlier, the RTA further said construction work for the southern bridge, in the direction of Abu Dhabi, will be ready soon following the diversion of traffic to the northern bridge in order to make way for the remaining excavation works of the canal underneath the bridges on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Phase II of the Dubai Canal project includes the construction of bridges on Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads at a height of 8.5 metres allowing yachts to pass underneath.

Phase III includes constructing a three km-long canal connecting the Business Bay Canal with the Arabian Gulf.

According to the RTA plan, Phase III also includes building the canal banks and constructing three pedestrian bridges linking the two sides, along with constructing four marine transit stations to enable marine transit modes offer convenient and effective water-transport, especially after the completion of several of islands in the Arabian Gulf, such as The World and Jumeirah 2.

Parallel Roads Improvement

Where: Business Bay District, Al Khail

When: Between 2016-2017

Opening in phases, Al Tayer confirmed last week that one of the projects touted for this year is the RTA’s Parallel Roads Improvement Project at the Business Bay District (Godolphin), comprising the construction of roads, bridges and underpasses to ease traffic flow on the parallel roads of the area, which will reduce traffic snarl-ups in neighbouring and surrounding roads.

The project encompasses the construction of a flyover of three lanes in each direction stretching 3.5 km across the Dubai Water Canal before widening to a five-lane motorway passing over Godolphin Stables, crossing over Al Meydan Street, and extending further to Al Quoz Industrial Area.

The makeover is touted to bring improvement in traffic flow at the existing junction of Al Meydan and Al Khail Roads through the construction of flyovers ensuring free leftward turns, thus effectively terminating the current overlap and tailbacks during peak hours.

The project involves the addition of a new two-lane free traffic corridor serving vehicular movement inbound from Al Khail Road heading towards Sharjah through Al Asayel Road, stretching up to the junction with Oud Metha Road.

The RTA has said these roadworks will be accomplished during the final quarter of 2017.

Umm Al Sheif-Latifa bint Hamdan junction

Where: Umm Suqiem

When: 2016-2018

The roadworks are not limited to key highways alone.

Last year, the RTA awarded a Dh482m contract for road improvements in other major arteries, which included a link between Jumeirah Street with Al Khail Road, along with parallel roads (Al Asayel, First Al Khail Road) by constructing two-level bridges and roads.

RTA head Al Tayer said at the time: “The project comprises the construction of a flyover on Latifa bint Hamdan Street intersecting the First Al Khail Road, a signalised at-grade junction underneath the bridge, and the improvement of the intersection of Umm Al Sheif Street with Al Wasl Street.

This is expected to provide smooth and free traffic movement from Umm Al Sheif Street in the direction of Sheikh Zayed Road up to Latifa bint Hamdan Street (D67), and from Al Zomorrud Street to the east up E11.

The new bridges will be constructed up and down the Red Line of the Dubai Metro without affecting the operation of the metro itself, the RTA confirmed.

The two bridges will be linked with Sheikh Zayed Road through ramps enabling free exit points.

While the entire project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, Al Tayer said last week the improvement of Umm Al Sheif and Latifa bint Hamdan Roads Junction with the Sheikh Zayed Road Project should complete this year.

Al Wasl and Jumeirah Road Improvement

Where: Al Safa, Jumierah 1,2,3, Umm Suqiem

When: 2016

RTA has also announced its Al Wasl and Jumeirah Road improvement projects should complete this year.

Last month, the RTA revealed Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads will become one-way streets as part of a road improvement project.

Traffic will flow on Al Wasl Road in the direction of Burj Al Arab, and on Jumeirah Road in the direction of 2nd December Street.

The RTA said it aims to streamline traffic movement and make it more pedestrian-friendly, as well as enhancing business activities on both roads.

Wafi Interchange

Where: Oud Metha

When: April 2016

Taking the pressure of Sheikh Rashid Road, once completed, the Wafi Interchange is set to open by end of April 2016.

Commuters from Sharjah and Dubai Silicon Oasis would be able to connect to Sheikh Zayed Road with ease once the flyover is ready.

In January, RTA had announced the Dh88m interchange was 65 per cent complete, with 70 per cent of construction on the flyover, along with lighting and utility work has been finished, while 35 per cent of the road was completed.

The project comprises the construction of a three-lane bridge from Oud Metha Road (near Latifa Hospital) in the direction of Sheikh Rashid Road, and from there to Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Saada Road via the overpass leading to the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The new bridge spans 700m and will have the capacity to handle 3,300 vehicles per hour.

When completed, the project aims to eliminate the overlapping traffic at the interchange and make the traffic run smoothly from Oud Metha Road in the direction of Al Ain to the east and from Sheikh Rashid Road in the direction of Oud Metha to the west towards Umm Hurair.

Entry/Exit International City

Where: Al Awir

When: 2016

Last month, the RTA gave reprieve to frustrated residents of International City by confirming it had awarded a contract for improving Al Awir Road and entrances to the International City (First Stage) Project, at a cost of Dh191 million.

Al Tayer had said at the time, the project was a direct result of the ‘Traffic Impacts Study of International City and the Dragon Mart area’, especially after the opening of the Dragon Mart extension and the anticipated traffic backups in the area.

Currently, there is a single main entrance shared by residents of International City and visitors of Dragon Mart, which often results in backups during peak times.

The RTA has provided an additional signalized entry/exit point at Al Manama Road that has eased the traffic flow at the main entrance off Al Awir Road.

This improvement project, which covers Al Awir Road, Nouakchott Road, and International City at Al Warsan in Dubai, would improve the flow in road network, and ease the flow of traffic within International City.

The project comprises improving Al Awir Road in a sector extending from the intersection of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road up to the roundabout of International City.