H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has sanctioned The Floating Bridge project on Dubai Creek, half-a-kilometer to the south of Al Maktoum Bridge. The bridge will stretch across the surface intersection near Deira City Centre and Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and will end at the intersection to be built on Riyadh Street between Dubai Courts and Creek Park.
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, RTA made the announcement at a press conference held today (Monday, May 29, 2006), at the Authority’s offices in Al Rashidiya, in attendance of Eng. Maitha Bin Adi, CEO of Dubai Traffic and Roads Corporation at RTA, Eng. Bader Al Siri, Acting Traffic Director and Head of Traffic Engineering, Eng. Nabiel Mohammad Saleh, Head of Roads Department and Dr. Aysha Al Busmait, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication at RTA.
Speaking at the conference, H.E. Mattar Al Tayer said, “The Floating Bridge project is in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and complements the Authority’s efforts aimed at easing the traffic congestion in Dubai. We are constantly conducting studies on possible ways to modernise the transport system in and around Dubai, in addition to keeping abreast of international best practices.”
“The Floating Bridge project is part of an integrated system we are implementing that will reduce the traffic congestion by 37 per cent on Al Maktoum Bridge, on which more than 150,000 vehicles pass each day. The number of lanes that cross Dubai Creek will increase from 19 to 38 lanes by 2007 and to 45 lanes by 2008. The Authority has completed a study conducted on 10 highly congested areas and will work on measures to ease the congestion in these areas. The project reflects the strategic plan adopted by the Authority to modernise the transport system and thus allowing us to keep pace with the rapid developments in the emirate and meet the present and future infrastructural needs of the emirate’s transport system. In October 2006, we will launch ‘Dalili’, a service that will give drivers real time road and traffic information that will help them plan their travel route,” added Al tayer.
Eng. Maitha Bin Adi, CEO of Dubai Traffic and Roads Corporation at RTA said: “The Floating Bridge will provide an additional link between Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road and Oud Metha Road from one side and Al Ittihad Road and Deira from the other. The holding capacity of the bridge is 3000 vehicles in each direction during morning and evening peak hours.”
“The Floating Bridge, a first-of-its-kind project in the United Arab Emirates, will be built out of 20 metre wide hollow concrete blocks that will float on water. These kinds of bridges are widely used by the military as they can be built quickly. The Floating Bridge is a temporary solution until the Authority successfully completes the design and construction of a permanent bridge at the same place,” added Bin Adi.
“The Authority places great importance on the adoption of the highest standards of quality in the implementation of all projects from start to finish, and on completing these as per schedule. The project will be tendered in July this year, construction work will begin in September and the project will be completed by March 2007,” she added.
The rolling segment of the bridge allows the bridge to open and close at intervals of 20 minutes. These opening and closing times will be set in coordination with the authorities regulating the movement of ships and ferries crossing Dubai Creek. Ferries will have a side-way passage that will not require the opening and closing of the bridge.
The Authority is currently adopting measures to improve traffic conditions at intersections near Riyadh Street. These measures include diverting traffic along the roundabouts in the direction of Creek Park to intersections with traffic lights. The Authority is also studying the possibility of diverting the traffic coming from Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road to The Floating Bridge when Al Maktoum Bridge is congested.
Eng. Bader Al Siri revealed the results of the first round of studies conducted by the Authority on the 10 highly congested areas, which includes studying entries and exits, improving existing entries, modifying the internal road network and changing them from single to double lane roads, especially in the Karama area.
“The Authority will construct a roundabout that will link Al Khawaneej and Al Mizhir areas with University City Street and build a bridge linking Ras Al Khor Road with Nad Al Hamar Road to reduce traffic congestion around “Whimpy” intersection. We will also add an additional lane on the road linking Emirates Road and Al Aweer at the New Fruit and Vegetable Market intersection. We will also add a lane at the roundabout linking Emirates Road and Al Khail Street and another at The Gardens roundabout linking Emirates Road with Sheikh Zayed Road. We will also add an additional route with two lanes for vehicles coming from Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi at Intersection 77E in addition to another lane to be added on the exit to the Mall of the Emirates leading to Umm Suqeim Road. Finally, we are also adding two lanes linking Emirates Road with Sheikh Zayed road on Intersection 9,” said Eng. Bader Al Siri.