sheikh zayed road bridge

Sheikh Zayed Road’s new bridge is finally open

Did you have a less-stressful ride to work this morning? Yeah, us too.

We’re putting it down to the opening of the Abu Dhabi-bound bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road, which released six lanes to traffic on Friday (and got rid of those ever-narrowing diversions).

Construction on the 16-lane flyover, which forms a key part of the Dubai Water Canal project, kicked off in November 2014, and the northbound bridge opened for business in January.

Work on the eight-lane southbound bridge only began earlier this year, so its speedy opening is rather impressive.

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The remaining two lanes are expected to open mid-July and, once the Dubai Canal is finished, the bridge will ferry commuters over the manmade waterway.

The 800-metre flyover rises 8.5 metres, which will give plenty of room for boats to pass through underneath.

When finished, the Dubai Canal will run 3.2 km from Business Bay up to the Arabian Gulf, and will flow through Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.

. افتتحت #هيئة_الطرق_والمواصلات اليوم الجمعة الأول من يوليو الجسر الجنوبي على شارع الشيخ زايد في اتجاه أبوظبي، حيث تم افتتاح 6 مسارات من إجمالي 8 مسارات، ويبلغ طوله 800 متر، وسيتم افتتاح المسارين الباقيين في النصف الثاني من الشهر الجاري، وسيسهم الجسر في انسيابية الحركة المرورية على ضفتي قناة دبي المائية. #RTA opened today July 1st, Abu Dhabi-bound southern bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road. Whereby 6 lanes were opened from a total of 8 of the 800 meter-long bridge. RTA will open the remaining 2 lanes in the second half of July, which will contribute to ensuring an integrated traffic movement between the two sides of the #water_canal. #Nowopen #canal

A video posted by هيئة الطرق والمواصلات، دبي (@rta_dubai) on

Friday’s unveiling of the new-look SZR means phase one of the huge canal project is complete – the second involves the opening of bridges on Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road (which may each soon be one way, remember).

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The third phase is the largest – at Dhs802 million – but the RTA says it’s already 75 per cent finished.

This section involves digging the canal, and building the sides of the waterway that will link Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf from Sheikh Zayed Road, through Al Safa Park and Jumeirah 1. This phase also includes the construction of three pedestrian bridges, 10 marine transit stations, and a manmade peninsula along Jumeirah Park.

Why you should be excited about the Dubai Water Canal

dubai canal

Well, that picture is surely reason enough, right?

But if not, here are just a few of the things this humongous project will bring:

1. Three pedestrian bridges will run along the canal, and feature running tracks, pretty sitting areas to take in the view, and plenty of greenery.

2. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to move in, with 5,345 residential units and 948 hotel rooms planned for the area.

Dubai Canal - how it will look

3. The manmade peninsula will feature 60 marinas, 1,817 residential units, 957 five star hotel rooms and 347 retails outlets and restaurants.

4. A new three-level mall will be built, which will house 434 outlets and eateries across 300,000 square metres.

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Images: Twitter/RTA/Supplied