Work on $544.5 million Dubai Canal project begins

Scanning for underground cables and pipelines currently underway, RTA official says

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Work on the $544.5 million Dubai Canal project has begun, with digging commencing near Al Safa Park, near Sheikh Zayed Road, it has been announced.

Mapa and Gunal Constructions, the Turkish construction giant, has been awarded the contract to carry out the project, while Halcrow and Parsons have been appointed as consultants by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

According to a report by Gulf News, a senior RTA official said that the work was currently in its preliminary stage and internal road detours were being worked out near Safa Park.

Service roads near Safa Park, as well as those parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road, have been blocked and traffic is being diverted to adjacent internal routes. Furthermore, a large area of parking space has been closed and additional parking spaces are being provided at an adjacent plot.

“We are currently scanning for the underground cables and pipelines. Workers have begun digging to find the cables and water pipelines as well as sewage lines. Our idea is to shift the cables and pipelines from the area before we start excavation for the canal,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

The three kilometre long canal project will connect with the already existing creek in Business Bay, and will extend out to Jumeirah beach, cutting through Sheikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.

Work on the project is to be undertaken through three separate tenders, one of which will be a 16-lane bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road. Another tender will be issued for the two six-lane bridges over Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road. The third tender will be to develop the canal.

Although early work has begun on the development of the canal, work on the Sheikh Zayed Road section of the project will begin at a later date, the official said, once ‘elaborate traffic diversion plans’ are put into place.

“We will make sure there will not be any disruption to traffic. We will begin work on the flyover that will come over the canal on Shaikh Zayed only after making sure the diversion plan is smooth,” said the official, without giving further details on the planned detour.

The bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road will be almost a kilometre long and will rise up to 8.5 metres in height, which will allow marine traffic to pass underneath. A number of marine transport stations as well as jetties will dot at various locations along both sides of the creek, enhancing water transport services in the city.

Ranging from 80 metres to 120 metres in width, depending on the location, the canal will house various shopping, leisure, residential and commercial centres along both the sides.

Safa Park will serve as the hub of the project and will house a 50,000 square metre shopping mall, six kilometres of beaches and 80,000 square metres of waterfront walkways and leisure areas.

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