Abu Dhabi: Commuters who regularly travel along the capital’s Al Salam Street have recently expressed concerns about the traffic jams that occur on the road, citing two closed tunnels as the cause for many bottleneck situations occurring during rush hour.
“I use Al Salam Street to get to and from work everyday, and spend nearly 40 minutes caught up in traffic jams along the street,” said R.H., 55, a procurement and contracts manager in the capital.
According to him, the Al Salam Street junction with Hazza bin Zayed Street is a major point for traffic blocks.
“When the Al Salam Street project began, we were told that the upgraded road would allow commuters to head straight to Al Mina Area in the city to the Shaikh Zayed Bridge without having to face any traffic signals. But it has been almost four years and we still have to spend a lot of time waiting at traffic lights,” he added.
The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City began to upgrade Al Salam Street in 2008, and as reported by Gulf News, officials initially expected the project to be completed by 2010. Since then, sections of the road have been gradually opened, including three tunnels and surface roads, such as the stretch from Hazza bin Zayed Street to Hamdan Street that was opened last year.
However, two linked tunnels along the road spanning 4.4 kilometres and stretching from Hazza Bin Zayed Street to Al Mina Area are still closed.
Municipality officials earlier told Gulf News that the tunnels were scheduled to open in 2012. At the time of going to print, they were however unavailable for further comment about when work on the tunnels will be completed.
Mohammad A, 25, another commuter who uses the road to get to his office in downtown Abu Dhabi, said he too has witnessed many traffic disruptions and delays along Salam Street.
“When the road is not jammed, I can get from my home in Musaffah to my office in about 25 minutes. But every morning, it takes me an hour instead as I wait at various traffic lights on Al Salam Street, and I always get to work late as a result,” he said.
Upon completion, the Al Salam Street upgrade is expected to carry 12,000 vehicles per hour in both directions, which officials reported as double the previous capacity of the road.