The Board of Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), chaired by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, has endorsed the award of the contract of Phase II of the Dubai Water Canal Project comprising the construction of bridges across the Canal on Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads at a cost of Dh384 million. This phase constitutes an important step in the construction of the project which is intended to provide a link between the Dubai Creek and the Arabian Gulf via a water canal passing across the Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Safa Park, Jumeirah 2 and up to the Arabian Gulf near the southern part of the Jumeirah Creek Park. "Works in Phase II of the project, which has been awarded to China State Corporation, will be completed in the final quarter of 2016 in order to coincide with the completion of Phase I of the project covering the construction of a bridge on the Sheikh Zayed Road passing over the course of the Canal, allowing free navigation around the clock," said Al Tayer. The contract of Phase II encompasses the construction of bridges on Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads above the Dubai Water Canal enabling the passage of 8.5 meters-high yachts, and the construction of a free and integrated multi-tier interchange providing a traffic link between Al Wasl, Al Hadiqa and Al Athar Roads in a smooth manner after the project completion to replace the existing light signals. It also includes the construction of a bridges leading to the proposed peninsula to the south of Jumeirah Park. The contract also covers utility diversion works beneath the Canal, in addition to the construction of spare conduits for utility lines underneath the Canal to meet the projected future requirements," explained Al Tayer. "The RTA has drawn up plans governing traffic diversion to ensure smooth traffic flow such that the engineering design of the temporary traffic diversion will conform to the specifications of permanent roads in terms of engineering design, levelling of the asphalt surface, and the provision of lighting compatible to the design speed of the road in order to ensure the traffic safety of all road users. The contractor's work area will be fully separated by a high barrier to keep the disturbance to road users and residents of the neighbourhood to the minimum. The number of lanes during the diversion stage will be equal to the existing number of lanes in order to make sure that such diversions will not have a negative impact on the existing traffic volumes, and accordingly avoid any congestion or delay caused by construction works," added Al Tayer. Commenting on the work progress in the construction of Phase I of the Canal project Al Tayer said: "The contractor is about to finalise the diversion of all utility lines within the right of way of the Sheikh Zayed Road, and the company will embark on the traffic diversion works on the Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction from Dubai to Abu Dhabi next July such that the traffic diversion will be made on 25 October." The contract of Phase I; which costs about 500 million dirham, includes the construction of a bridge on the Sheikh Zayed Road comprising 8 lanes in each direction passing over the Canal course in a way enabling free navigation 24/7. Routes of impacted roads will be modified in order to ensure an integrated traffic movement between the two banks of the Canal, noting that the impacted part of the Sheikh Zayed Road extends 800 meters. The project also includes the shifting of the existing utility lines works which are impacted by the course of the canal in addition to lighting works, and water fountains on the bridge.