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Thu 7 Feb 2008 04:24 PM

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Congestion to cripple Dubai arterial road

Major roads leading to Al Garhoud Bridge and Bur Dubai closed as transport authority demolishes old bridge.

Motorists will be hit by crippling traffic jams in Dubai’s Al Garhoud area following the closure of a major road leading towards Al Garhoud Bridge and Bur Dubai from Friday.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will close a section of the road and bridge leading towards Al Garhoud Bridge from Casablanca Road and Al Rebat Road, to demolish the old Al Garhoud Bridge.

Massive traffic jams are expected with airport traffic now forced to take the Al Maktoum Bridge, the Floating Bridge or the Business Bay Bridge to reach Sheikh Zayed Road and Bur Dubai.

The closure is a temporary process lasting till the new Al Garhoud Bridge is opened in March, the RTA said in a statement on Thursday.

The demolition and removal of the old Al Garhoud Bridge is required to ensure movement under the new bridge.

Nabeel Saleh, director of roads at the RTA's Traffic and Roads agency, said alternative roads have been provided for motorists heading to Bur Dubai.

Traffic heading to Bur Dubai using roads leading to the closed path should re-route through the Business Bay Crossing, and motorists inbound from the Airport Tunnel may go to Nad Al Hummer and drive through Al Rebat road to the Business Bay Crossing.

Motorists inbound from Marrakesh Road may drive through the free path leading to the Business Bay Crossing, while others coming from Casablanca Road may drive through Al Rebat Road towards the Business Bay Crossing.

The RTA is currently investing around $22 billion in Dubai's transport infrastructure as it 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.

Construction on the new $13 million Al Garhoud Bridge began in February 2006 and its capacity is estimated at 16,000 vehicles per hour, more than double the volume of the old bridge.

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