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26 more lanes for crossings by ’08

Dubai: Crossing the Dubai Creek to commute between Deira and Bur Dubai will not be a nightmare for motorists in the near future as the number of lanes will be increased from the existing 19 to 45 by 2008.

"A number of lanes on crossings over Dubai creek will be increased to 38 lanes in 2007 and 45 in 2008 to ensure smooth flow of traffic," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chief Executive Officer of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Dubai Creek will have a total of six crossings within the next few years. Currently, there are three crossings, the Al Shindagha Tunnel, Al Maktoum Bride and Al Garhoud Bridge while the 12 lane Ras Al Khor Bridge, the fourth crossing, is under construction and will open in the first quarter of 2007. Al Garhoud Bridge will also be replaced with a new 13-lane bridge in 2008.

Al Tayer said the floating bridge will be the fifth crossing on the creek and it will be later replaced with a permanent one once its design is complete. According to a traffic study, the existing two bridges and the Shindagha tunnel have the capacity of handling 38,000 vehicles per hour. With the construction of two new bridges, the capacity will increase to more than 70,000 vehicles per hour.

The RTA is currently adopting measures to improve traffic conditions near Riyadh Street on the Bur Dubai side. The roundabouts on the street are being replaced with intersections to provide easy access to the floating bridge.

Traffic on Khalid Bin Waleed Road the most congested road in Bur Dubai will also be diverted to the floating bridge during peak hours to ease traffic flow on Al Maktoum Bridge.

RTA has completed study on the Dubai Master Plan for traffic for the year 2020. "Based on available statistics about the current development projects, we are planning a road network for a projected population of five million people in Dubai excluding tourists," he said. Dubai's population according to last census is 1.2million.

Engineer Maitha Obaid Bin Udai, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Traffic and Roads Corporation (DTRC) at RTA said the number of major road projects would be announced soon.

"All the new developments are being taken into consideration while carrying out the new road projects to cope with the current and future demands," she told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

Maitha said the Master Plan for Traffic is a model that handles the future traffic problems for 2010, 2015 and 2020. The traffic model will be used to predict the future traffic situation with the increase in the number of population, mega projects and the number of vehicles.

"All the new developments are being taken into consideration while carrying out the new road projects to cope with the current and future demands."

Easing congestion: 10 spots identified for modification

The Road and Transport Authority has identified at least 10 spots in the congested areas that need modification to ease traffic congestion.

Engineer Nabeel Mohammad Saleh, Head of Roads Department and Engineer Bader Al Siri, Head of Traffic Engineering, said that "quick solutions" would be adopted at 10 spots to ease traffic flow.

The authority will construct a roundabout that will link Al Khawaneej and Al Mizhir areas with the University City Street and build a bridge linking Ras Al Khor Road with Nad Al Hamar Road to reduce traffic congestion around "Whimpy" intersection.

It will also add an additional lane on the road linking Emirates Road and Al Aweer at the New Fruit and Vegetable Market intersection.

One lane will be added at the roundabout linking Emirates Road and Al Khail Street and another at The Gardens roundabout linking Emirates Road with Shaikh Zayed Road. Another lane will be added on the exit to the Mall of the Emirates leading to Umm Suqueim Road. Two lanes linking Emirates Road with Shaikh Zayed road on Intersection 9 will also be added.

Source: Gulf News

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