Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Saturday opened the last two phases of roads leading to the Expo 2020 site. Construction works under these two phases included a flyover linking Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Expo Road as well as two flyovers on Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to ensure a smooth traffic flow to and from the site of Expo. Works also included bridges extending 7km and roads extending 43km in addition to three interchanges. By opening these last two phases, RTA has accomplished construction works of all phases of roads leading to the Expo site.
The project has been undertaken in response to the directives of His Highness Shsikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop roads and transport networks in support of Dubai hosting Expo 2020. The overall aim is to ensure a smooth mobility experience for Expo visitors and serve future projects in the area.
The project had been divided into six phases to ensure the timely completion of all work:
“Works on the last phase of the project included transforming the previous roundabout at the intersection of Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Expo Road into a flyover enabling free movement in all directions. Works covered widening and elevating Expo Road by constructing two bridges of six lanes in each direction along with turns and ramps to ensure smooth traffic flow from Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to Abu Dhabi and vice-versa. These works will ease the traffic movement from Expo Road to Shaikh Zayed Road,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.
“These improvements will ease the traffic flow from Expo Road Northwards to Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in the direction of Dubai, and from Expo Road Southwards to the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi. Additionally, works covered the road works spanning 27 km on Expo Road and widening it from four to six lanes in each direction together with service roads in both directions. Four bridges have been constructed on Expo Road to ease the traffic movement from and to Expo site,” he added.
“The project will increase the capacity of Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from 8,000 to 60,000 vehicles per hour and slash the transit time on Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from Al Houdh Interchange to the entry of Al Maktoum Airport from 35 to six minutes. It will also provide a direct exit from Expo to the Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road Northwards to Dubai,” he explained.
“The concluding phase of the project covered the construction of two flyovers on Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to ensure a smooth traffic flow from and to the site of Expo (to be opened gradually in coordination with the office of Expo 2020) in addition to road works extending 16 km,” said Al Tayer.
“The first is Expo Interchange; which included the construction of two 6-lane bridges to serve the traffic movement from Dubai, Sharjah and other Emirates accessing the parking lot of Expo. Works also included the construction of two 2-lane bridges for vehicles coming from Abu Dhabi heading to Expo and a 2-lane bridge to ease the exit of vehicles from Expo to Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi.
“The second is Al Maktoum Airport Interchange; which included the construction of a three-lane bridge to serve traffic from Dubai, Sharjah and other Emirates heading to Expo and a 2-lane bridge to ease the exit of vehicles from Expo in the direction of Abu Dhabi. RTA also constructed surface roadworks to facilitate the turns from and to Abu Dhabi along with the construction of service roads on both sides of Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road,” added Al Tayer.
By opening the last two phases, RTA has completed all construction works of Roads Leading to Expo Project. Last December, it opened Phase 6; which included 1.4km bridges and 8km roads. The previous roundabout at the intersection of Emirates Road and Expo Road has been transformed into a flyover providing free traffic movements in all directions.
In August 2019, RTA opened Phases 3 and 4; which included upgrading two intersections; at Shaikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road with both Expo Road and Al Yalayes Road. It also constructed two flyovers on Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road at the Dubai Investment Park and widened the Shaikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road from two to five lanes in each direction. Under these two phases, construction works covered bridges extending 5km and roads extending 17km.
In February 2019, RTA opened Phase 5; which encompassed the construction of bridges stretching 2.6km and roads spanning 3km. The number of lanes of Expo Road increased from three to six lanes in each direction over a three-kilometre stretch. Service roads were added to ease the traffic condition and Expo Road has been elevated at the intersection of Al Asayel Road by an 800-metre long bridge of six lanes in each direction. Two other one-km bridges were constructed to link Expo Road with the service road at the area and streamline the traffic flow from and to Expo.
RTA had set a master mobility plan for Expo to ensure safe and smooth transport of Expo visitors. Besides developing a sprawling network of roads and bridges, RTA also undertook Route 2020 project for extending Dubai Metro Red Line 15km from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the site of Expo.
The plan also comprised deployment of mass transit means such as environmentally-friendly buses for commuting visitors from key assembly points in Dubai to Expo. It also catered to the deployment of taxis involving the provision of taxi ranks and streamlining their movement.
RTA also opened the Enterprise Command and Control Centre (EC3); one of the biggest worldwide as far as the use of smart technologies and control of multi-modal transit means at present or in the future. It also assists sound mobility plans and copes with various potential mobility challenges in the Emirate.