By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
Motorists will have to bear with traffic diversions and congestion on the Oud Metha Road-Rashid Hospital stretch for two more years.
The works to build two tunnels bypassing the roundabout have been going on for the last two years, and motorists have been contending with unending diversions and bottlenecks during the period.
Compounding motorists’ problems is the simultaneous construction activities of the Metro Green Line, which is in the final phase.
However, once the project is ready, it will be a smooth sail for traffic as motorist heading towards the Floating Bridge would be able to bypass the signals at the Broadcast Roundabout heading from Tariq bin Ziyad Road as well as Umm Hurrair Road.
“The tunnel will definitely ease the traffic on Broadcast Roundabout. Motorists will have to bear with us for sometime.
Once it is ready, it will be a smooth sail. All motorists coming from the Bur Dubai area through Tariq Bin Ziyad Road and Um Hurair Road heading to Al Riyadh Junction and Floating Bridge would no longer need to queue up on the Broadcast Roundabout because they would be able to drive directly through the tunnel and that will reduce volume of traffic on all directions,” said Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA) at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). She said that 53 per cent of the project is complete and the basic structure of the 951-metre twin tunnels is ready. Work is going on at a fast pace on the remaining part of the project.
However, residents living or working in the area have something else to say.
“We know that once the project is ready it will be much better, but there seems to be very slow progress in the last six months and at this rate we might have to endure for much longer than what we expected earlier,” said a miffed Abdul Kader, who lives close to the south side of the tunnels.
Pedestrians and residents seem more crossed than motorists and the Dh705 million tunnels project has left little or no room for people to walk in the area.
“It is both impossible and dangerous to walk around the area as there are no footpaths. The bus stop has been moved much farther and people like me who have to walk to work are in a lot of difficulty,” said Dakila Martinez, who lives and works around the project area.
The Oud Metha Tunnels Project is one of the biggest road works currently under progress in Dubai, completion of which will provide a non-stop connection to Floating Bridge from two busy roads, saving a lot of time for people living and working around the area.