Dubai: The new Al Garhoud bridge was partially opened for motorists on Saturday, easing traffic congestion.

Four out of the 13 lanes of the new Al Garhoud Bridge were opened from Bur Dubai to Deira, but motorists coming from Deira to Bur Dubai continued to use the old Al Garhoud Bridge.

The new bridge will be fully opened next March. The old bridge will be demolished once the new bridge becomes fully operational.

Motorists will continue to pass through the Salik toll gates to use the new bridge. Motorists said that they were surprised to see a few lanes opened on the new bridge.

"The bridge is huge and it not only gives a smooth ride but also provides a panoramic view of Dubai Creek and the city because of its height," said Ramesh, a motorist who used the bridge on Saturday.

However, another motorist said that it made little difference because the roads after passing the bridge were still congested due to construction.

"I hope the traffic congestion will ease after the bridge is fully opened and construction work on the roads leading to the bridge is over," he said. The new Al Garhoud Bridge will have a capacity of 16,000 vehicles per hour.

It will have seven lanes from Bur Dubai to Deira and six lanes (expandable to seven in future) from Deira to Bur Dubai. The existing Al Garhoud Bridge has a capacity of only 8,000 cars per hour.

Three exits

"Partial opening of the bridge will help ease traffic congestion for motorists commuting between Bur Dubai and Deira and Sharjah," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The cost of the project, which started in February 2006, is Dh415 million.

Its total length is 520 metres. Unlike the old bridge, it will not be closed for traffic to give way for creek traffic because it is 15 metres above the water level, ensuring free navigation for marine transport.

Traffic diverted from Shaikh Rashid Road from Bur Dubai to the new Al Garhoud Bridge will disperse at the end of the bridge in three directions leading to Sharjah and Al Ghusais, Al Rebat Road, Al Rashidiya and Nad Al Hammar and to Dubai International Airport.

Your comments

It is great news that traffic on the Al Garhoud Bridge will ease up now. However, I suggest that if the Salik system is no longer required, then it may be removed because it hurts the pockets of the working community.
Khurram Saeed
Posted: December 16, 2007, 15:11

The government should reduce the toll of Dh4, at Salik, which is too high.
Posted: December 16, 2007, 11:02

It is really good to hear that the new bridge has been opened to traffic. But the Salik system should be removed now because it has not made any difference to traffic jams. And, if the new bridge is really good enough to handle 16,000 cars an hour, then there remains no need for Salik, as the RTA had said that the system was introduced only to control traffic. The new bridge will automatically control traffic from March, anyway.
Muhammad Ashraf
Posted: December 16, 2007, 10:20