Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has awarded a Dh500 million contract to Turkish Gunal for the construction of the first phase of the road and bridge network of the new Dubai Water Canal (DWC) project.

The project is comprised of three phases that will be designed by the RTA, setting up for the completion of the final phase that will link Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf, extending to Shaikh Zayed Road and passing through Safa Park and Jumeirah 2, reaching the Arabian Gulf to the south of Jumeirah Beach Park.

The decision to award the contract was made during an RTA board meeting chaired by Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA. Al Tayer said that the first phase of the project will consist of constructing a bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road that passes through the highest point of the canal, allowing for free maritime movement 24 hours a day. Roads affected by the works will also have their lanes extended to allow for smooth traffic movement to the canal’s banks.

Al Tayer said that around 800 metres of Shaikh Zayed road will be affected by construction works, and pointed out that a number of service lines that will be impacted by the works on the canal will also be rerouted.

Al Tayer added that work on the DWC has been divided into three contracts, with the first two contracts dealing with the construction of bridges over the canal’s waters on main roads that intersect DWC. This will include the construction of an eight lane bridge in each direction over Shaikh Zayed road, and bridges with three lanes in each direction over Al Wasl and Jumeirah road. The bridges will be 8.5 metres high in order to allow for smooth maritime movement on the canal.

The third contract deals with excavation and landscaping works, as well as the construction of four pedestrian bridges and four marine transport stations. RTA is expecting marine transportation to be used by more than six million passengers per year.

Al Tayer added that the RTA has already laid out a plan regarding temporary traffic diversions to ensure a smooth traffic flow. He pointed out that these traffic diversions will have the same number of lanes currently being used by the roads; therefore traffic will not be negatively impacted by construction works on the canal. He also stated that a number of improvements will be implemented on the main road network and areas intersecting the canal.