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Dubai: Traffic on both sides of Shaikh Zayed Road has been diverted as work on the Dubai Canal project gathers steam.
The diversion on Shaikh Zayed Road in the direction of Sharjah came into effect last week. Traffic heading towards Abu Dhabi had been diverted on October 26.
The detour makes way for the construction of a 16-lane bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road, allowing the proposed Dubai Canal to flow underneath.
Additional lanes were built on Shaikh Zayed Road to facilitate smooth diversion of traffic.
The diversions stretch for more than 800 metres and are designed to ensure free-flowing traffic during the period of construction of the flyover as well as the canal.
Being built at a cost Dh500 million, work on the flyover has now begun, causing no disturbance whatsoever to traffic movement.
“Same number of lanes has been maintained on both sides of the road and traffic movement has continued as normal. Work on the construction of one side of the flyover has begun,” said a senior RTA official. He said the project is on track.
The first section of the flyover is being built on the side that earlier served traffic towards Sharjah.
Once the first half of the bridge is completed, traffic towards Sharjah will be moved on to the newly-constructed bridge.
“Work on the second half of the bridge will begin in the area which currently serves traffic towards Sharjah. Temporary tracks will continue to serve the traffic towards Abu Dhabi during the construction of the second half of the bridge, while the new bridge will serve traffic to Sharjah,” the official said.
Traffic on Al Wasl Road near Safa Park has also been diverted in both directions, while the diversions on Jumeirah road will begin soon, both allowing for the construction of flyovers under which the canal will flow.
Meanwhile, excavation work for the canal project has begun inside Safa Park and the area of Safa Park has been reduced. The old fences and jogging track around the park have been realigned and new fences are currently under construction.
Preliminary work on the Dh2 billion Dubai Canal Project began late last year, beginning with the shifting of all utility lines underneath the area of construction and that phase of the project is almost complete.
Several internal roads in Al Safa and other adjoining localities have been reopened for traffic after completion of the work on relocating utility lines.
Construction work on the 3-km canal is being undertaken in three phases simultaneously, involving construction of three flyovers, one each on Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.
The third phase of the project, which too has been initiated, involves excavation and building of the canal.
The bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road will be almost a kilometre long and will arch up to 8.5 metres to allow luxury yachts and boats to pass underneath.
The canal will connect the already extended creek from Business Bay area all the way to Jumeirah beach, cutting through Shaikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.
The Dubai Canal project will transform the 3-km stretch into one of the most prestigious locations in Dubai with four world class hotels, including a crescent-shaped building and as many as 450 restaurants.
Safa Park, which serves as the epicentre of the project, will house a 50,000 square metre shopping mall. The canal bank itself will span six kilometres on either side and the project will also boast a sprawling 80,000-square-metre waterfront walkway and leisure area.
The project will also have separate tracks for jogging and cycling as well as recreational facilities for children.
Ranging from 80 metres to 120 metres depending on the locations, the canal banks will house various shopping, leisure, residential and commercial centres.
A number of marine transport stations as well as jetties will dot both sides of the creek, enhancing water transport services in the city.
Set to be ready in three years, the development is expected to further boost tourism in Dubai with an estimated footfall of 22 million visitors.