Canal project requires two bridges for SZR traffic

Contracts for $400m scheme to be announced this year, start in Q1 2013

The project will require the construction of a number of bridges for vehicles and pedestrians.
The project will require the construction of a number of bridges for vehicles and pedestrians.

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Dubai's RTA has outlined its ambitious plans for the construction of the $400m (AED1.5bn) Business Bay Canal Extension Project, which calls for two six-lane bridges to carry Sheikh Zayed Road over the waterway.

Contracts are set to be awarded by the end of this year, with construction to begin as soon as in the first quarter of 2013.

The Business Bay canal extension is expected provide a boost to tourism, with projected construction of floating hotels, hotels and restaurants along the canal's edge, and integrated tourist and recreational facilities in Al Safa Park.

RTA Chairman and Executive Director H.E. Matar Al Tayer visited the project site accompanied by a number of city officials including CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency, as well as engineers from Parsons, the project consultant.

One key question for the project is what impact the construction will have on Dubai, given that it will affect a number of residences, and especially on the traffic flow on Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) –Dubai's main arterial route – which the canal will bisect.

The work plan calls for the construction of two six-lane, 8.5m-high bridges in either direction of SZR, as well as a two-lane bridge in each direction of both Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road.

Construction of the bridges will allow for unimpeded marine access of the canal waterway.

Al Tayer said that the traffic movement on SZR must not be affected, as it is a key traffic corridor in the Emirate.

The work team has been directed by Al Tayer to conduct a comprehensive study of the traffic movement in areas impacted by the canal to ensure a smooth traffic flow in the vicinity of the project.

Al Tayer has also said that priority was to be given to the facilities and houses impacted by the project, saying the project is one of the vital schemes undertaken by the RTA, "with a peculiar nature".

"The canal passes across populous areas which have facilities and services that ought to be dealt with in a professional manner."

The canal extension will be 2.8 km in length, ranging from 80m-100m in width. Additional facilities to be constructed included pedestrian bridges, cycling tracks and green areas.

When completed, the canal extension is expected to be a popular tourist landmark in Dubai.

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