Dh2b road project to ease Sharjah traffic

SHARJAH — A series of major road projects that will change the traffic scenario on the Emirate's road network and provide a number of alternate routes for motorists, were announced by the Ruler's Office in Sharjah yesterday.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Mon 27 Mar 2006, 9:49 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:34 PM

The projects, estimated to cost over Dh2 billion altogether and involve construction of new highways as well as upgrading of existing roads, are expected to be completed latest by 2010. Some of the projects are under planning or design stage, while work has already begun on some others.

Al Wahda Road

According to the plans announced yesterday, the project to upgrade Al Wahda Road from the under construction interchange near King Faisal Street towards the Ajman border via a link with the Al Wasit Road through a full cloverleaf interchange, will be tendered within the week. The Dh360-million project is expected to be complete by 2007.

Speaking to the Press yesterday, Mel Stewart, Engineering Advisor at the Ruler’s Office in Sharjah, noted that the upgrading of the road will facilitate inter-emirate traffic, particularly from Dubai. Apart from expansion of the road, the project will include the construction of an underpass beneath the Cultural Palace Roundabout, which by the end of the project would be transformed into a signalised junction. Meanwhile, the under construction interchange on Al Wahda Road is expected to be ready by September this year.

Short-Circuit Routes

Works on the King Abdul Aziz Road, which is currently in the design stage, will be carried out simultaneously with the other project. The Road, which will connect with the under construction interchange on the Sharjah Ring Road, will 'short-circuit' the Sharjah ring road, passing through industrial areas before crossing over Al Wasit Road towards Al Wahda Road, and stretching out towards Al Qasimia area via Abu Shaghara. Up ahead from Al Qasimia, the freeway will connect with the Al Arouba Road at an interchange before crossing over the Creek over a bridge to Leah.

Contract for the first phase of the King Abdul Aziz Road project has been awarded while the next contract will be tendered by next month, Stewart said. The Dh421-million project, which will include the construction of a 50-metre bridge under a junction on the Al Arouba Road creating a three-layer interchange, will be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Following instructions from the Sharjah Ruler's Office, all industry will be removed from the Leah area, which will then be used exclusively for the development of residential purpose. Offices of several government bodies will also be set up in this area.

In this regard, the vegetable and fish market in the area will also be demolished as the project progresses. The new vegetable and fish market will be shifted to a nearby location which will be created following a reclamation project on the creek. Stewart revealed that the new facility will be fully air-conditioned and is based on the model of a market in Kuwait.

Khor Fakkan

The Ruler's Office also announced plans to construct a new road to Khor Fakkan. According to Stewart, once the project is complete, instead of driving from Masafi to Fujairah or Dibba, motorists will be able to drive from Difdah to Shis and onwards straight through to Khor Fakkan. The project is estimated to cost around Dh650 million. The project's phase involving the proposed road from Shis to Khor Fakkan is in planning stage. The project also involves the construction of a 1.5 kilometre long tunnel.

SHORT-CIRCUIT

Similar to the King Abdul Aziz Road, the Al Wasit Road project is aimed at providing motorists a short-circuit to the Ring Road. Starting at the Dubai-Sharjah border on the Al Nahda Link Road in Industrial Area 9, the road stretches all the way to the Sharjah-Ajman border at the Wasit Power Station Interchange. The Dh200-million project is expected to be ready by mid of 2009.

The completion of the Sharjah Ring Road, the biggest project in terms of cost at Dh440 million, will involve construction of a road from Al Wasit to Al Wahda area. Running along the Sharjah-Ajman border, the Ring Road (completion part) will pass through Umm Khanoor, Al Nakhilat, Al Margab, and Al Sharqan, before culminating into the Al Arouba Road and onwards over the creek into the Al Khan road.

The project would involve the expansion Al Arouba Road and Al Khan Road all the way to the Al Nahda Interchange with connects with Al Ittihad Road. Also, as part of the project, an elevated road over a 600 to 700-metre viaduct will be constructed from Al Arouba area to the Rotana Hotel.

SUBWAYS AND FOOTBRIDGES

Considering the importance of infrastructure facilities for pedestrians as a way to enhance road safety and facilitate free movement of traffic on the Emirate's roads, the upcoming projects include subways and footbridges at critical locations across the city. Mel Stewart, Engineering Advisor at the Ruler's Office in Sharjah, told Khaleej Times that pedestrian bridges and underpasses would be constructed to maintain free flow of traffic on the new roads.

He revealed that Sharjah's most popular mall, the Sahara Centre is building a multi-storey car park on the other side of the road and this would be connected to the mall via a pedestrian footbridge. Jaywalkers are a serious problem on the highway along which the mall is located, and the issue has been highlighted in the local Press on a number of occasions.

In a major shift from the erstwhile road planning, Sharjah will be doing away with most of its major roundabouts, which will be replaced by signalised junctions. Roundabouts are historic, Stewart commented, and added that signalised junctions would increase the capacity of the roads in the emirate.



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