Minister of Works, Municipalities & Urban Planning Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf highlighted during a press conference today at the Gudaibiya Palace a number of projects that the Ministry will implement in 2015 in the roads, sanitary and construction sectors.
The projects reflect the Ministry’s keenness to increase development projects in line with the urban boom that the Kingdom is witnessing, provide better services to the people of Bahrain, achieve sustainability and support investment and economic advancement. The string of projects for the present phase are being implemented with the support of the GCC Fund, all of which contribute to the development of the Kingdom, enhancing Bahrain’s competitive location regionally, improving the quality of government services and activating partnership with the private sector.
The Minister Khalaf presented a string of projects in the roads sector, which are represented by revamping the main roads network and paving dirt roads in the Kingdom’s Governorates in line with the urban and economic boom in the Kingdom. According to studies conducted on future expansion needs and requirements, the Ministry of Works, Municipalities & Urban Planning strived to keep pace with all of that by developing the main roads network in accordance to the Government’s priorities and program. Also, the Ministry gave priority to the projects that complement the new and future housing projects which naturally require new alternative roads that accommodate traffic in those areas. Housing projects remain a priority in the GCC Fund program, as they contribute to the stability of the Bahraini family.
The Minister of Works, Municipalities & Urban Planning shed light on the projects that the Ministry intends to either implement or complete during 2015:
1. Muharraq Ring Road Project & the 4th Flyover
In order to keep up with the urban boom being witnessed in Northern Muharraq, the most important of which is Eastern Hidd Housing Project, the new residential towns and the expansion of Bahrain International Airport, the Ministry put in place an integrated study to implement Muharraq Ring Road Project; extending from Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Causeway in Hidd and the industrial area in East Muaharraq, passing through the housing projects in East Hidd, Galali, Dair, Samaheej, Amwaj Islands, Diyyar Al Muharraq and Dilmunia and reaching to West Busaiteen (which has recently witnessed massive urban development especially with Saya and West Busaiteen housing projects). All of that will be connected to Manama via a fourth marine flyover leading to the North Manama Causeway Interchange (near Bahrain Bay).
The Government has allocated the needed budget as part of the GCC Fund to implement phase 2 of Muharraq Ring Road Project and the marine flyover. The Government also allocated the needed financial fund within the next budget cycle for the project study consultations. Works shall comprise of studying and implementing phase 1 of the Ring Road; starting from Dair and reaching towards Busaiteen. A fourth marine flyover will reach to Manama and connect to North Manama Causeway. It will be a double multi-lane road on each direction.
Phase 1 of Muharraq Ring Road Project, which commenced at the end of April and reached 50% progress, starts from the entrance to Galali and Amwaj and ends at Diyyar Al Muharraq entrance, passing through the entrances to Samaheej and Dair Villages. Work will convert the road into a double road with multiple lanes on each direction. The total length for roads to undergo revamp is 3km. The project will provide a double road with high capacity along the Eastern and Northern parts of Muharraq. Work includes improving the intersections with Samaheej and Dair, installing safety barriers, lighting poles and traffic signals, in addition to improving the intersections in Galali, Samaheej and Dair in order to link them all together thorough Muharraq Ring Road and provide new access points to these villages. Phase 1 of the project cost BD5,063,237.
Muharraq Ring Road is a very vital road in Bahrain as it is considered to be a strategic option that carries traffic from internal roads to the main highways. Once both phases are completed, the road will become a fourth option to travel from Muharraq towards Manama, therefore alleviating pressure on the Airport Avenue, Ghous Avenue and Khalifa Al Kabeer Avenue. The new road will also serve economical and housing projects in North Muharraq and will activate traffic to Bahrain International Airport and Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Port.
2. The expansion of Sh. Zayed Avenue and implementing a flyover along Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway
As part of the Ministry’s roads revamp plan, the expansion of Sh. Zayed Avenue will hugely accommodate traffic travelling from the East towards the West and vice versa. It will connect to Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway in the West, passing through the housing project in Salmabad, A’Ali and 16 December Avenue, and eventually connecting to the Estiqlal Highway at the East to become a 3 lane avenue on each direction and connect to Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway via a flyover. It also includes replacing Salmabad Roundabout and the Pottery Roundabout with traffic signals in order to increase the capacity of Sh. Zayed Avenue to exceed 50,000 vehicle/day. This will eventually contribute to linking central areas (Isa Town and Riffa) to Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway and therefore alleviating traffic on its intersection with Sh. Isa bin Salman Avenue.
3. The Flyover along Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway and the Highway linking Roundabouts 13 & 18
The project is considered to be the 3rd entrance to Hamad Town from Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway, following the completion of 2 previous entrances at Roundabouts 6 & 14, which was done through the creation of 2 main traffic signal controlled underpasses as part of phase 5 of Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway. In order to continue linking Hamad Town to the Western villages, work has commenced to create the flyover linking Roundabout 18 to Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway. comprises of creating a 2 direction flyover with 2 lanes on each direction. The new 24.2m wide flyover is to pass over the Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway at a length of 280km. Works also include constructing a 2 way road with 2 lanes on each direction at a length of 1.5m; connecting Roundabouts 13 to 18 in Hamad Town. This will alleviate traffic congestion along Sh. Hamad Highway and other internal roads in Hamad Town.
Work also includes lighting and traffic safety works and paving roads in the vicinity of the project. The project will connect all access pints in Hamad Town to the main roads network in the Kingdom and will help residents reach their destinations much more easily. Also, the new flyover will provide a direct access to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway; specifically for the traffic coming from Roundabout 18 in Hamad Town, the residential areas in the vicinity and also the Western villages, and heading north towards Manama. Also, the flyover will provide a direct access to traffic travelling along Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway from South Zallaq towards Roundabout 18 and the surrounding areas.
Traffic studies highlighted how this project will contribute to reducing travel time by providing a direct, short and easy access to Hamad Town, in addition to providing a non-stop movement from the West to the North and from the South to the West.
The Project cost is BD7,466,958.
4. Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway Expansion
In line with the development of a number of main intersections along Sh. Khalifa bin Salman Highway, the Ministry has invited bids for the consultation services for increasing the number of lanes on the highway to accommodate the increasing traffic witnessed along this vital highway. Traffic surveys conducted on the highway revealed that 160,000 vehicles travel across this highway on a daily basis. This has pushed the Ministry to expedite means of accommodating this huge traffic density. The planned development scheme will start from Seef Intersection and reach towards Roundabout 6 Underpass in Hamad Town. The Ministry is about to complete the technical evaluation of bids, prior to submitting them to the Tender Board. Consultation studies (including traffic studies and detailed designs) are expected to be awarded by the end of January 2015.
5. Sh. Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Avenue Revamp, Alba & Nuwaidrat Intersections:
The project comprises of 2 phases; phase 1 includes replacing Alba & Nuwaidrat Roundabout with flyovers and creating the secondary roads in the vicinity of the roundabouts. Presently, bids submitted from a number of contractors are being evaluated prior to awarding the project. Implementation is hoped to commence in the first quarter of 2015, parallel to the completion of the BD3,950,000 million preparatory works, which include separating the road boundaries from land and real estate’s overlaps, and transferring service connections to the new lanes away from the part to undergo expansion.
As for phase 2, which starts from Nuwaidrat Roundabout and ends at Sitra Mall Intersection, work is currently underway to award works to one of the consultants to commence traffic studies and detailed designs for the project.
Phase 2 comprises of increasing the number of lanes along the avenue, increasing the capacity of the intersections to create smoother traffic movement, creating side service roads along the avenue to provide safe access to the real estates overlooking the avenue.
Once work is completed, the project will contribute to accommodating housing projects in the area, the most important of which East Sitra Housing Project and the housing projects in the Southern Area. Sh. Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Avenue is considered to be one of the vital roads cpnnecting Sitra, Riffa, Sanad and the Southern part of Bahrain to Manama. The Avenue witnesses a traffic capacity of 100,000/day.
1. Juffair Ring Road Project & the Expansion of Awal Avenue
The Ministry has recently commenced work on Juffair Ring Road and expanding Awal Avenue, with a 38% and 25% progress. The first project of Juffair Project is expanding and revamping Awal Avenue by increasing its lanes to 3 lanes on each direction at a total length of 3.5km, providing side lanes and improving intersections based on the expansion needs. The project cost BD759,337.
The second project is to implement phase 1 of Juffair Ring Road by implementing a dual road with 2 lanes on each direction; extending from the interchange of Al Fateh Highway and Sheikh Duaij Avenue on the West to Al Najma Club on the East at a total length of 4.5km, providing multiple entrances to the new Juffair Area and implementing lanes for emergency parking.
Works also include opening an intersection on the southern side to connect it to Juffair, implementing a cement central reservation, dredging and reclamation works, constructing brick pavements along the intersections, implementing a storm water drainage network and ground channels, paving works, implementing speed humps, lighting, signage and other related works. The cost of the project is BD2,057,517. Both projects will serve Juffair Area; considering the fact that it is one of the most important investment and residential areas in the Kingdom.
Taking into account the importance of Al Fateh Highway and in order to complete the revamp of roads in Juffair, the Ministry awarded the designs for Al Fateh Highway Revamp Project to a specialized consulting company. Design percentage has reached 50%; aiming to provide a non-stop movement along Al Fateh Highway and increasing the number of lanes together with revamping the intersections on the highway.
After that, the Minister Khalaf referred to the Ministry’s Dirt Roads Paving Program, which complements the Government’s plan to provide proper infrastructure services in all Kingdom’s Governorates; upon directives from HRH the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The Ministry of Works, Municipalities & urban Planning implemented a number of dirt roads paving projects in different Governorates in the Kingdom; in line with the objectives of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the National Strategy. The Ministry strived to realize this objective in collaboration with Municipal Councils; being essential partners in accommodating people’s needs and requirements. The paving of dirt roads has contributed to creating an integrated roads network and solving flooding issues in some areas, including Galali (Block 254), Riffa (Block 934), Maqaba (Block 507) and Shahrakan (Block 1044).
The Ministry is presently implementing 8 dirt roads paving projects covering a total of 50km; serving 3000 real estates. The BD8,156,682 projects cover Busaiteen Block 228 (2 phases), Phase 2 of Block 226, Zinj Block 358, Tubli Block 711 (2 phases), Hidd Blocks 111 & 109, and Sanad Blocks 743 & 745.
Designs have been prepared for 8 other dirt roads paving projects. Coordination is taking place with the Ministry of Finance to allocate the needed BD3,200,000 budget. The total length of roads to be paved is estimated to be 26km serving 1523 residential real estates in 8 residential blocks throughout the Kingdom.