Sheikh Zayed Road bridge open [video]

Final touches on the Southern Bridge in preparation for opening on Friday. (Supplied)

After months of construction and road diversions, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has opened the Abu Dhabi-bound southern bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road to traffic.

The bridge opened on July 1.

The bridge, which will run between Interchanges 1 and 2 on the busy E11 is part of the initial phase of the ongoing Dubai Water Canal Project, which will see part of Sheikh Zayed Road elevated to make way for the waterway to connect from Meydan to Jumeirah Beach Road.

Only six lanes will open to traffic in the first phase of the new bridge, with the remaining two lanes scheduled to open in mid-July.

The bridge itself rises 8.5 meters above the water level allowing free navigation in the Canal around-the-clock, and will accompany the Dubai-bound E11 bridge, which opened to traffic earlier this year.

Earlier, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, Mattar Al Tayer, said in a statement: “By opening the southern bridge, RTA has effectively completed all works listed under Phase I of the Dubai Water Canal Project, which comprises the construction of an 800 meter-long bridge on the Sheikh Zayed Road comprising eight lanes in each direction.

“It also includes modifying the route of affected roads to ensure integrated traffic movement between the two sides of the Canal besides shifting the affected utility lines.”

He continued: “This bridge is characterised by a unique design with waterfalls flowing from the top and smart lighting fixtures controlled via a dedicated app supported by a database for tracking the lighting condition and sharing information and operational commands. Full coverage is provided all over the place enabling the RTA to interact with the social media through 3G technology.”

Earlier this month, the RTA opened Al Wasl Road Bridge comprising three lanes in the direction of Dubai and two lanes in the direction of Abu Dhabi, in addition to two lanes serving traffic coming from Al Wasl Road heading towards Al Athaar Road.

Al Tayer revealed the traffic flow on the bridge has “improved massively, thus facilitating the movement of motorists from Jumeirah 1 to Jumeirah 2 and 3, as well as Al Hadiqa Road and vice versa.”

According to the RTA, about 50,000 vehicles now use the bridge every day.

Last March, RTA opened Phase II of the project with the completion of a bridge serving traffic inbound from Al Athaar Road and bound towards Al Hadiqa Road, cutting across Al Wasl Road.

Since opening, the RTA has stated it has eased the movement of motorists from Jumeirah Road and Al Athaar Road in the direction of Al Hadiqa Road and Sheikh Zayed Road.

“Work is gathering pace for the Jumeirah Bridge where the contractor is currently putting the finishing touches to the project, which will be open in July,” Al Tayer further revealed.

He added: “Once the three bridges crossing the Canal are open, the contractor of Phase III will complete the Canal digging works underneath the bridges, besides building quay walls of the Canal, constructing three footbridges linking the two banks of the Canal at distinctive locations, and setting up 10 marine transit stations.

“Jobs also include landfilling works to build a synthetic peninsula along the Jumeirah Park that will double the beach line of the Park, increase the park area, and make a room for more leisure activities.”


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