It was nice to get carried away and picture a future trip along Sheikh Zayed Road on an elevated double-decked formation. However, it is not going to happen; Sheikh Zayed Road will not be expanded with a second layer.
This was confirmed by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) in a statement to Emirates 24L7, after media reports suggested otherwise last month.
“In order to address the general traffic congestion in Dubai focusing in particular on key strategic corridors like Sheikh Zayed Road, RTA continuously tries to make an effort to be proactive and come up with various traffic management strategies to alleviate the situation.
“However, the subject report is not correct,” said Maitha bin Adai, CEO of the Traffic and Road Agency at RTA.
Last week, a media report triggered the imagination of many when it was suggested that high volumes of traffic would possibly be met with the construction of a second tier above the main corridor of the emirate. The report read:
“The RTA is already exploring ways to tackle congestion. The most ambitious scheme so far is the double-decking of Sheikh Zayed Road. If it goes ahead, the project will involve building a 35-kilometre elevated section of highway running from Dubai Creek to Jebel Ali Port,” was written in the Middle East Economic Digest (Meed) report.
Although the construction of such project leaves much to the imagination, the solution does not come unwelcomed, as the highway is known to carry the bulk of Dubai’s daily commuters. While traffic jams fill the road in the direction of Abu Dhabi in the early peak hours, in the evening the traffic is headed in the opposite direction.
However, the solution will not be found in the upward direction, as the focus of road development seems to be on the ground.
Significant road improvements have been carried out to the roads running parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road, such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Al Khail Road and Emirates Road. An additional number of Salik gates were installed along Sheikh Zayed Road, to encourage road users to opt for the alternatives, and the links between the parallel roads are continuously improved.
Skyspace remains the domain of the real estate market, for now.