JEDDAH, 12 August 2007 — The Jeddah Municipality has recently completed a thorough assessment of the existing 28 flyovers and underpasses in the city. According to a municipality official, the aim of the assessment was to determine how safe they are and how long they can be safely used.
Ahmad Banafa, general supervisor of municipal projects, said that a special committee composed of municipality officials and academics from King Abdul Aziz University’s Faculty of Engineering carried out the survey of the structures.
“The condition of flyovers and underpasses was seen to be safe and in need of only regular maintenance according to the committee’s report,” Banafa said, adding that the committee had made recommendations for minor maintenance work on some of the structures, which the municipality is now engaged in.
The committee studied the possibility of implementing a SR277 million project, which includes the construction of three new flyovers and underpasses in Prince Majed Street in order to lessen traffic congestion in that major road that cuts across the city from north to south, Banafa said.
Two of the projects are currently under construction, including the underpass in Al-Aziziah district and a flyover and tunnel at the intersection of Prince Majed and Hera streets, Banafa said, adding that work on the third underpass would start soon at the junction of Tahliah and Prince Majed streets.
Banafa said that the three projects are in addition to 16 minor projects to widen intersections and correct paths along Prince Majed Street. “All the traffic projects are expected to be completed by the year 2010,” he said.
Banafa said that the municipality was also working on two SR12 million projects to widen and correct all the intersections around the city in addition to adding phosphoric light guides on the roads, thus creating new passages alongside roads and eliminating unnecessary openings leading to main roads.
He said that the municipality, with the help of the traffic police, is currently re-organizing the positions of traffic lights at various intersections in addition to establishing speed bumps in front of schools and hospitals.