New Creek bridge opens
I should probably start by explaining that Dubai has a ‘river’ running through the centre of the city.
It’s actually Al Khor, The Creek, because it’s an inlet from the Arabian Gulf rather than a river. It runs naturally for about 10 kilometres and then sinks into the desert, forming a wetlands area that’s a haven for migratory birds, including big flocks of flamingoes, which is quite a sight. (A further 12km man-made extension has been added to give more prime waterfront real estate blocks, and to add eye-pleasing water to a harsh desert environment).
But back to the story…like waterways in many cities around the world, it’s a traffic bottleneck as drivers cram onto the available crossings. Dubai has a tunnel and two bridges, and they’re gridlocked on very many occassions because of the city’s explosive growth.
New bridges are under construction and the first opened yesterday.This is known as Business Bay Crossing, a US$218 million thirteen-lane bridge.
It opens up a new road corridor from the main roads in ‘New Dubai’, Sheikh Zayed Road & Emirates Road, through Bur Dubai and Deira, the two Creekside areas of the city, and on into the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah. Many Dubai workers now live in Sharjah and commute every day because rents are so much lower than in Dubai.
Six lanes have been opened and the remaining seven will open over the coming months.
A temporary floating bridge of six lanes is also being hurriedly constructed plus a new thirteen lane Al Garhoud Bridge. Future plans are for two additional 12-lane bridges.
The traffic is still chaotic, but the infrastructure is gradually catching up and the roads are generally getting noticeably a little less frustrating to drive on.