Work in progress at Dubai Canal project along Shaikh Zayed road. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Traffic diversions on Shaikh Zayed Road are set to begin on October 25 as work on phase one of the Dubai Canal project gathers pace, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday.

Gulf News reported the diversion plans last month that will facilitate construction of a 16-lane bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road, allowing the proposed Dubai Canal to flow underneath.

The diversions, which will stretch for more than 800 metres, are designed to ensure free-flowing traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road during the period of construction of the flyover as well as the canal.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA, inspected the canal works as well as the Jumeirah Beach project.

He said work on diversion of all utility lines underneath the area of construction is about to be completed and construction of additional lanes on Shaikh Zayed Road to facilitate smooth diversion of traffic will begin in July. He said that the first stage of diversion in the direction of Abu Dhabi will begin on October 25.

Being built at a cost of Dh500 million, phase one of the prestigious project involves construction of a 16-lane flyover and work on the flyover will begin only when traffic on Dubai’s busiest road is diverted smoothly.

“Traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road will not be disturbed. The diversions are being planned in a way that the movement of traffic continues to be free-flowing. The same number of temporary tracks will be built that are currently available on Shaikh Zayed Road, following which work on the construction of the flyover will begin,” said Maitha Obaid Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA), speaking to Gulf News.

The detailed diversion plan involves construction of six temporary tracks on the western side of Shaikh Zayed on the landscaped area opposite Al Mazaya Centre and Emarat Atrium.

Explaining the diversion plan she added: “Initially, traffic heading towards Abu Dhabi will be diverted to the temporary tracks. Traffic heading towards Sharjah will be shifted to the tracks that currently serve traffic towards Abu Dhabi.”

Once the traffic is diverted, work on building the first half of the 16-lane bridge will begin on the side that currently serves traffic towards Sharjah.

Once the first half of the bridge is completed, traffic towards Sharjah will be moved on to the newly constructed bridge.

“Work on the second half of the bridge will begin in the area which currently serves traffic towards Abu Dhabi. Temporary tracks will continue to serve traffic towards Abu Dhabi during the construction of the second half of the bridge,” she said.

Preliminary work on the Dh2 billion project began earlier this year, with several internal roads in Al Safa area closed and traffic diversions put in place.

Currently, most internal roads in Al Wasl area between the Business Bay Metro station and the second interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road have been made one- way.

Construction work on the 3-km-long project is being undertaken by Turkish construction giants Mapa and Gunal. Work will be carried out in three phases. The second phase will involve construction of two six-lane bridges on Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach, while the last phase will be the construction of the canal, which will begin following the completion of road and flyover works.

The bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road will be almost a kilometre long and raised up to 8.5 metres to allow luxury yachts and boats to pass through.

The Dh2 billion canal project will connect the already extended Creek from Business Bay area all the way to Jumeirah beach, cutting through Shaikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.

Meanwhile, the 14-km-long Jumeirah Corniche project is also in full swing with 20 per cent of the work already completed.

Work on Dubai’s longest Corniche project began in February this year and is expected to be complete by next November.