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The RTA carries out the maintenance on Al Maktoum Bridge every year to ensure smooth traffic flow Image Credit: RTA

Dubai: Maintenance work on Dubai’s Al Maktoum Bridge for 2023 has been completed to without disrupting traffic, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.

Inaugurated in 1962, Al Maktoum Bridge is the oldest of the five crossings over Dubai Creek, linking Deira and Bur Dubai. It undergoes regular maintenance as part of the RTA’s efforts to keep the infrastructure of bridges, roads, transportation system in good shape.

The maintenance of Al Maktoum Bridge is carried out through a structured plan divided into five phases: daily preventive and routine maintenance, weekly maintenance, monthly maintenance, quarterly preventive and routine maintenance, and an annual major overhaul of the bridge. Bulk of these activities are scheduled during the closure of the bridge, after midnight twice a week, which ensures public safety and minimal disruption to traffic.

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Al Maktoum Bridge is one of the most sophisticated movable bridges as it is fitted with hydraulic pumps that enable the bridge to open and close. Image Credit: RTA

Abdulla Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, said: “About 104 routine and corrective maintenance operations had been conducted on Al Maktoum Bridge in 2023, which required around 5,222 working hours. These figures highlight the huge efforts made by RTA to maintain a smooth traffic flow on the bridge that handles up to 22,000 vehicles per hour in both directions.”

Hectic work

He said the RTA carried out 14 major maintenance works on the bridge between 2014 and 2022. Main tasks included the replacement of the main hydraulic cylinder and all pipes of the bridge’s hydraulic systems. Comprehensive inspections were conducted to assess the structural condition of the moving parts.

Abdullah Al Ali

Works included replacing valves, sensors, hydraulic valves, and accessories during the comprehensive maintenance, applying anti-slip paint on the surfaces of the bridge, conducting a specialised structural evaluation of the underwater metal curtains, and performing tests to ascertain the bridge’s service life.

Movable bridge

“Al Maktoum Bridge is a sophisticated movable bridge fitted with hydraulic pumps that enable it to open and close. This functionality is crucial for facilitating maritime navigation in the Dubai Creek, allowing ships and high boats to pass underneath. This feature simplifies operational checks of vital machinery and routine inspections, including the monitoring of parts that require lubrication,” Ali added.

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Some 104 routine and corrective maintenance operations were carried out on Al Maktoum Bridge in 2023, which required around 5,222 working hours. Image Credit: RTA

International team

RTA has designated an international team to conduct annual maintenance and inspect all civil and structural components of the bridge’s movable parts. It is complemented by inspections by a skilled team of divers.