Al Ittihad Bridge will be 61.6 metres wide and rise 15 metres above Dubai Creek. It is scheduled to be completed in three years. Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

Dubai: The Dh7.036 billion budget of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for 2014 has been approved, with Dh3.88 billion allotted for existing and new road projects including the Al Ittihad Bridge that will replace the Floating Bridge.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA, on Saturday said the total expenditure budget approved for the agency this year amounts to Dh7.036 billion. Some Dh3.156 billion will cover the Operational Budget while Capital and Projects will get a budget of Dh3.88 billion.

“The aggregate anticipated revenues for this year are Dh5 billion marking a 17 per cent increase over last year’s budget.”

Among the major projects that will begin by the end of the year is the Al Ittihad Bridge, a 12-lane (six in each direction) bridge that will replace the existing Floating Bridge. The 61.6 metre wide bridge will have an arch that rises 100 metres, enabling traffic movement non-stop all day and passage of bulky ships on Dubai Creek underneath. The bridge will also have a footpath in each direction.

Al Tayer said RTA will award a contract for constructing Al Ittihad Bridge by the end of the year and it is scheduled to be completed in three years. Other projects will also be funded this year such as the Dh70 million Jumeirah Corniche Project, the Dh49-million Al Qudra Road Widening, and the construction of the Union Gallery as well as the rehabilitation of the Union House at a total cost of Dh201 million.

“The approved projects budget is estimated at Dh3.62 billion which will be allocated for constructing around 99 projects comprising 50 new projects to be undertaken in roads, marine transport and public transport sector, and 49 projects currently under way,” Al Tayer said.

Al Tayer said the budget will be distributed as follows: 36 per cent will be allocated to the Traffic and Roads Agency while 33 per cent will go to the Rail Agency. Public Transport Agency will receive 13 per cent while 17 per cent will be shared between the Licensing Agency, Administrative Support Services Sector, and Technical Support Services Sector. The remaining one per cent will be given to other agencies.

Several construction projects will be completed this year that will enable RTA to undertake a host of new projects. Among the projects to be completed this year is the Dubai Tram, which has a track extending 11km along Al Sufouh Street, the initial phase of which is expected to be operational by November.

RTA will complete the construction of internal road projects in residential areas according to its five-year plan (2012–2016). A budget of Dh234 million is allocated for constructing internal roads in a number of residential communities in Dubai.

RTA will also work on the Parallel Roads Project supporting Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road for which a budget of Dh398 million is being allocated.