FUJAIRAH // Commuters are contending daily with roadworks, diversions and traffic jams as the emirate proceeds with upgrading its road infrastructure.
As part of the Fujairah 2040 Plan, busy streets and motorways are being refurbished, uneven surfaces relaid, and lanes and traffic signals added to cope with the population growth and the increase in the number of vehicles that accompanies it.
Although the work meant short trips through the city can become long ones, most residents welcomed the upgrades as a sign of improvement in their emirate.
“Wherever you go you find road construction. It’s a good thing, as this will minimise traffic in most parts of the emirate and make life easier,” said Jasim Al Ali, 33, an Emirati resident of Al Mereshed.
“I suggest they start working on Airport Road because it’s very old and bumpy and often used by residents living in Al Mereshed and Al Gurfa.”
Construction work was recently completed on Al Faseel Road to add traffic signals, lanes and junctions to ease congestion. The work crews later moved on to Al Nakheel Street and Al Gurfa Street.
Mohammed Al Mazroui, a 28-year-old Emirati resident of Madhab, welcomed development in his home town.
“Fujairah is taking big steps in becoming a more developed and advanced emirate, which is something I’m proud of,” he said, adding that he preferred to have more traffic lights on busy roads than roundabouts.
“Roundabouts cause traffic congestion more than anything and having a traffic light is much better and more convenient.”
Fujairah is upgrading its road infrastructure because its population is expected to exceed half a million people by 2040, up from 152,000 today.
The emirate’s recent major development projects include the Sheikh Khalifa motorway that links Fujairah with Dubai. It was completed in 2011 at a cost of Dh1.7 billion.
Fujairah also invested Dh55 million on upgrading 27 kilometres of the Dibba-Masafi Road, with the addition of an eight-kilometre road between Al Bidya and Sharm.
The 8.5km Maktoum bin Rashid Road, which connects Fujairah with Masafi, was redeveloped at a cost of Dh48m, and Dh160m was spent on reconstructing the 20km road from Kalba to Khor Fakkan.
Last year, the Dh166 million ring road project connecting Dibba and Khor Fakkan was completed.
It also serves Al Aqah, Sharm, Rul Dadna, Rul Dibba and Al Bidya.
The Dibba-Khor Fakkan Ring Road and tunnel serves 15,000 cars on weekdays and as many as 20,000 cars at the weekends.
“The upgrade is needed because the population is growing and the number of cars is increasing rapidly, so adding more lanes and enhancing the roads are required,” said Salem Al Mukasah, manager of the Fujairah Public Works Department.
“After we completed the road construction at Al Faseel Road, we started upgrading Al Nakheel Road by adding one lane on both sides, a traffic signal and a junction.
“We expect to finalise phase one of the project next month, as we are also working on upgrading Al Gurfa road by adding more lanes.”