Sharjah: Motorists are facing longer commutes home as construction works for an upcoming footbridge on Al Nahda Street is causing congestion on S102, also known as ‘Ring Road’, during the evening rush hour.
Lane mergers because of the construction works are slowing down traffic from Ring Road to Al Nahda Street, causing tailbacks on Ring Road — a main road used by motorists heading home to Sharjah from offices in Dubai.
The footbridge is coming up near the Adnoc petrol pump on Al Nahda Street and will provide access to the new Al Rayyan Complex on the opposite side.
Barricades have been placed on Al Nahda Street, closing off two lanes at the site, to make room for construction works. Vehicles exiting the petrol pump and the service lane are merging with the already reduced lanes and adding to the congestion.
The works started shortly before Ramadan (which began on May 6) and signs notifying motorists of a lane merger on the exit ramp from Ring Road to Al Nahda Street had first come up. The ramp was later made two lanes again and the bottleneck shifted to Al Nahda Street.
After a relative lull because of Ramadan, the evening rush hour traffic has returned to normal levels, compounding the congestion at the bottleneck on Al Nahda Street.
“It used to take me just five minutes on Ring Road but now I spend 25 minutes extra. There’s really no alternative road for my route, unless I take Al Itihad Road, but that will cost me Salik [toll gate charge],” said Nasrulla Khalife [sic], a 33-year-old Indian commuter.
Another motorist, Clevan Pinto, said he uses Ring Road daily for his commute back to Sharjah from Dubai.
“It hardly used to take me five or six minutes on Ring Road – from Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to Al Nahda Street — but now, because of the construction works, it takes anywhere from 20 minutes or more,” added Pinto, 34, also from India.
Pakistani motorist Zubair Tirmazi, 40, said he was taken by surprise at the traffic situation recently.
“I sometimes take Ring Road and was caught off guard when I found out about the congestion. I hope the construction works end soon and the footbridge comes up quickly. This is a good project for the neighbourhood,” said Tirmazi.
An immediate comment from Sharjah’s Roads and Transport Authority was not available regarding details of the project.