Once completed, new road projects to ease traffic flow

With the opening of a number of underpasses, traffic has already started moving smoothly on some roads.

With the opening of a number of underpasses, traffic has already started moving smoothly on some roads.

The new underpasses and bridges being built in Jeddah will improve traffic movement by as much as 90 percent once complete, Brig. Gen. Zaid Al-Hamzi, Jeddah traffic police spokesman, told Arab News.

Jeddah’s streets witness more than 3.5 million vehicles daily, leading to dire congestion at intersections and areas where construction is ongoing.

Several residents have expressed concern over the obstacles they face as they go about their daily business.

The new development projects come within a mass restructuring initiative taking place in several cities Kingdom-wide.

Ahmad Fadel, a citizen, said traffic congestion on the main roads delays students getting to schools and universities, often causing them to miss classes.

Saleh Al-Ghamidi, another citizen, said that he was recently delayed by over an hour getting to hospital because of congestion.

“Bottlenecks occur between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m and then again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” he said. “Congestion is most severe at detours.”

Ibrahim Abdulrahman, a resident, said roads have become much narrower due to these projects.

“The absence of alternative routes further exacerbates the problem,” he said.

Residents and drivers are not the only victims of these delays.

Ambulances are also impeded from getting to emergency wards. Roads between the King Abdullah and Corniche bridges and Palestine Street, in addition to the Crown Prince and Sabaeen streets, remain congested throughout the day.

Mohammad Rajih, another citizen, however, highlighted the advantages of these projects and the necessity of being patient for long-term results.

Fayez Majrashi, also a Jeddah resident, said that the construction of some underpasses and bridges did not solve the problem as much as he would have hoped, especially since some are still unfinished.

“Delays in completing these projects are the result of weak control and monitoring at the official level and lack of accountability for workers and projects managers who fail to complete projects on time,” said Faris Nasir, another resident.

Nasir called for the formation of permanent committees to supervise projects on the ground and follow them up on a daily basis, in addition to rectifying mistakes that cause delays.


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