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Sun 10 Feb 2008 03:43 PM

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Bridge closure adds to traffic nightmare

Dubai's heavily congested road network made worse with partial closure of Al Garhoud Bridge.

Dubai's heavily congested road network was made even worse on Sunday with the partial closure of Al Garhoud Bridge and several major roads leading toward it.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Friday closed the bridge to traffic heading towards Bur Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as sections of Casablanca Road and Al Rebat Road, to demolish the old Al Garhoud Bridge.

Al Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge and Business Bay Bridge all felt the strain as airport traffic was forced to use alternative routes.

The increased traffic flow on the other bridges caused major problems for motorists commuting across the creek, with some drivers reporting being stuck in traffic for hours.

Traffic problems are set to continue for at least the next three weeks until the new Al Garhoud Bridge opens in March.

The 14-lane bridge has been build at a cost of around 415 million dirhams ($113 million).

The RTA has advised traffic heading to Bur Dubai using roads leading to the closed path to re-route over Business Bay Bridge, and motorists inbound from the Airport Tunnel to go to Nad Al Hammer and drive through Al Rebat Road to Business Bay Bridge.

Motorists inbound from Marrakesh Road should drive through the free path leading to the Business Bay Bridge, while others coming from Casablanca Road should drive through Al Rebat Road towards the Business Bay Bridge, the RTA said.

The new Al Garhoud Bridge is part of a $22 billion facelift of Dubai's transport infrastructure as the RTA looks to reduce congestion.

The investment plan allocates $12 billion for new roads, $2.5 billion each for marine transport and tram systems, $6.3 billion for the Dubai Metro and $600 million for new buses.

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