Dubai: After a wait of more than three years, motorists will be able to zoom past Broadcast Roundabout on their way to the Floating Bridge as the Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project gets ready for traffic.
The Dh722 million project is currently receiving its finishing touches and is most likely to open to traffic by the end of this month.
According to a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official, the structural elements and roadworks have been completed, while the installation of signs and electromechanical work are close to completion.
The project will facilitate the movement of 6,000 vehicles per hour, easing traffic around Broadcast Roundabout and will make accessing the Floating Bridge easier for hundreds of motorists.
“The project is part of a master plan aimed to ease congestion in the vicinity of Rashid Hospital and ensure smooth traffic flow in the area. The project will ensure a non-stop connection between the Floating Bridge and two busy roads, consequently saving considerable time for motorists,” said Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of the RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.
The main features of the project are two two-lane tunnels passing through Broadcast Roundabout and connecting with the Floating Bridge, one from Umm Hurair street and the other from Tariq Bin Ziyad street.
The project also encompasses a pedestrian underpass serving the Rashid Hospital compound and an intersection on Riyadh street where the tunnels end.
The tunnels cover a distance of just over one kilometre but will serve as a vital freeway for hundreds of motorists looking for free-flowing non-Salik alternatives.
“The opening of the tunnels will certainly help ease congestion in the area. The roadworks have been going on for some time now and if I’m not mistaken, the completion of the project has taken more than the expected duration but finally we will have some relief,” said Mohammad Akbar, a resident of Umm Hurair, who is eagerly awaiting the project’s completion
Facing constant road diversions, residents of the busy surrounding area are heaving a sigh of relief on hearing the news the work is nearly complete. “It used to be quite laid-back here but with the construction of the Metro green line, which also passes through the area, and the tunnels we have had to sacrifice a lot. Residents in the area also had to forgo a piece of a small park to the tunnel construction,” said Sanju Joy, a long-time resident of Oud Metha street opposite Rashid Hospital.
He hopes that with an end to the construction work in sight, park life in the evenings will return, although the size of the green zone has been considerably reduced.