Dubai Canal: Second diversion ready

First stage of diversion opened in October 25. (Supplied)

The second stage of Sheikh Zayed Road traffic diversion, which will shift six lanes in the direction of Dubai to a temporary 800-meter stretch is likely to be opened soon, as the temporary road looks ready to be used.

On October 25, the first stage of the diversion was opened, replacing 6 lanes of Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi to a temporary road, stretching from Business Bay to Al Safa Park.

The empty lanes that had become available would soon make place for traffic diversion in the other direction, freeing six lanes adjacent to Business Bay for the first stage of construction of a bridge that is ultimately to span over Dubai Canal.

Although RTA said the diversion in the direction of Dubai was to be opened by end-November, this date has been passed and no new date has been announced for the expected start of the shift. However, works were carried out over the past weeks and now look to be near completion.

When the diversion is opened, traffic heading to Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road will experience some changes on their route along Business Bay.

Just after the crossing with Meydan Street the road will bend onto the diversion road, which will extend to Business Bay Metro Station (landside) to be redirected to the regular road.

On the image, the location of the diversion is parallel to the construction site. Traffic coming from Abu Dhabi will be diverted to the other half of the highway a little before the construction site, with a dedicated link provided for traffic coming from Meydan Road.

As the image illustrates, traffic will be re-directed parallel to Business Bay Metro station (landside), and access to the Business Bay area will be provided here.

Previous exit routes into the Business Bay area will be closed for the time being. The exit that was previously available at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel will be closed, and commuters will find the alternative exit a little further down the road, at Al Khaleej al Tejari Street, just before  Business Bay Metro Station.

Similarly, entry onto Sheikh Zayed Road from Business Bay area has temporarily been shifted. Whereas the entry road used to be at the roundabout just before the exit towards JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, it will now be at Al Khaleej al Tejari Street.

The diversion is expected to provide free-flowing traffic along the construction area, as the same number of lanes is maintained. Drawing from the experience of the first diversion on the same road, this seems to be a correct prediction. Although confusion was initially there, the diversion did not cause the expected tailbacks as traffic was smoothly guided through the new route.

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