Little scope for Salik dodgers as Zayed Road bridge opens


By Matovu A. Twaha

THE transportation authorities in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), are opening the main bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road on Wednesday.

This would help to ease traffic flow coming from the Financial Centre Road (Upper and Lower Decks) heading towards Sheikh Zayed Road in the Abu Dhabi-bound direction and affording little chance to those motorists looking to avoid Salik.

A series of bridges, that have cost Dhs600 million are to be opened between now and January-end. On Saturday, the RTA will open the widening of Sheikh Zayed Road near Burj Khalifa in the direction of the Financial Centre Road as well, according to the organisation’s chairman of board and executive director, Mattar Al Tayer.

“The remaining works at the 1st Interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road will be completed in four stages,” he said on Tuesday. The Italian company, Salini, undertook the project.

“By opening this vital interchange,” said Al Tayer, “We would have finalized the 6th and final phase of Ras Al Khor Road contracts; which extends more than 14km from the Airport Tunnel northward, and terminating at the 1st Interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road southward.”

The location of the projects is near Burj Al Khalifa and Financial Centre. A number of motorists appreciated the developments, but many said, “It saves us little in dodging Salik.”

“Whereas the channels make smooth flow, but they hardly guide us away from Salik gates,” said Ali M. of Karama.

Many bridges are to be opened. “In the first half of next January, we will open the third stage of the project, thus ensuring free traffic flow from Sheikh Zayed Road towards the Dubai International Financial Center across Tunnel No 2, and also ensuring the flow of traffic from Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction from Dubai heading towards Al Safa Road,” said Al Tayer.

“This will create free passage for traffic inbound from Sheikh Zayed Road heading towards the Financial Centre Road (Lower Deck).

“The final stage of the project, which will be opened by the end of next January, will include the opening of the main Tunnel No.1 parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road linking Al Satwa and Al Wasl areas and passing underneath Al Safa Road.”