A new road lane to improve traffic flow between Sharjah and Dubai has been welcomed by residents who regularly commute between the two emirates.
The new lane on Sharjah’s Al Taawun bridge opened on Monday and aims to ease congestion in the area.
The new addition means traffic can now flow along three lanes instead of two, when exiting the bridge.
Motorists driving from Dubai into Sharjah during peak hours would often face long queues owing to bottlenecking on Al Taawun bridge towards Al Taawun’s roundabout.
Traffic coming from two major motorways — Al Ittihad Road and Mohamed bin Zayed road in Dubai — would cause a major build-up on the bridge because many residents work in Dubai and live in Sharjah owing to its lower rents.
Previously, the four-lane road filtered into just two lanes as traffic tried to exit the bridge.
The Roads and Transport Authority in Sharjah carried out the upgrades to increase traffic capacity.
For Asim Abdulrahman, an Egyptian resident in Sharjah who works close to Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, the new addition to the bridge has been long awaited.
He uses the bridge to reach his apartment in Al Taawun, but said he would often get caught in heavy traffic.
“[I use the bridge] almost every day to reach my apartment. It takes between 45 minutes to an hour to reach home due to constant traffic jams on the Al Taawun bridge,” he said.
“The bottleneck would cause a 20-minute delay every day.
“The new lane will shorten my journey and it should ease traffic flow.”
He said many drivers would switch lanes at the last minute and join traffic in the two filter lanes, which would result in bottlenecking.
In July this year, the 35-year-old graphic designer said he was thrilled to see roadworks being carried out to widen the road.
“I was thrilled when I noticed the construction work happening as I felt it would bring an end to the misery of a long commute,” he said.
“Traffic has been smoother [this week] thanks to the improvements.”
Mohammad Riad, a 46-year-old Indian resident who lives in the Al Khan area of Sharjah and works in Dubai, praised the addition of the new lane, especially as schools prepare to reopen later this month.
“Al Taawun bridge is a key access point for many routes and it is usually busy with school buses and motorists,” he said.
“The new [lane] will boost traffic movement. It was a smart move to work on it during the summer break as there is less traffic on the roads.
“Traffic caused so much anxiety to drivers as well as minor accidents. After a long day of work, we would love to have a relaxing ride back home rather than worry about traffic jams ahead.”
Sharjah's Roads and Transport Authority said the upgrade was in line with efforts to boost traffic management.
“The added lane is 450 metres long towards Al Taawun roundabout near Expo Sharjah.
"It is in line with the authority strategy to improve the roads network in the emirate. It will boost the traffic movement and bridge capacity in peak hours,” the authority told The National.