No end to nightmare on Sharjah’s King Faisal Road

Residents complain of being stuck in traffic for hours; Sharjah RTA says diversions in place.

Development works on the King Faisal Road, Sharjah, is taking its toll on motorists and residents living in Abu Shagara, Al Qasimia, and Al Nad. All these residential areas are connected to King Faisal Street and since its partial closure, traffic has been diverted into the narrow streets of Abu Shagara and Al Nad, constant nightmares for motorists.

Ahmed Essam, a resident of Qasimiya said it has become an ordeal for him to commute to and from work every day due to the closure of the road. “It takes me an hour to get back home through the detour at Abu Shagara. Earlier it used to take just 10 minutes.”

“How is it going to be when people return from their vacation and schools begin?” asked Mona Ibrahim, an Arabic teacher living here. “Though there are no schools here, what about the buses and cars shifting our children through this busy road?”

Residents who returned from their summer vacation are shocked at the state of the roads in their localities.

“It’s a nightmare…. I was stuck near the Mega Mall underpass for one hour yesterday while returning from Dubai,” said Sunil Gir, an Indian national and resident of Abu Shagara. “Then it took me another 45 minutes to reach home because I couldn’t find parking in my area,” he added.

Lekha Devi, a resident of Al Nad and a teacher said: “I just returned from school vacations and I’m in shock. School is due to reopen on Sunday, looks like it’s going to be a torment.”

According to shopkeepers and delivery boys at groceries, Abu Shagara is chaotic during the morning hours, from 6.30am to 9am.

“Since all main roads are blocked, people take their cars into the narrow service lanes thinking they can escape traffic. But it just adds to the congestion,” said Gafoor Mohammedkutty, a grocery owner in Al Nad. Evenings are as bad, he said.

Residents is the area are hoping something will be done before schools reopen and the school buses add to the chaos. But that is unlikely, considering that most schools will reopen on Sunday.

What Sharjah RTA says

An informed source at the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, however, said the work on the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed within three weeks.

To ease residents’ suffering, particularly with the advent of the new academic year, the authority in coordination with the Sharjah Police, has opened additional temporary entries and banned cars from being parked in the area.

These are apart from a permanent safety engineer assigned at the worksite to quickly respond to emergencies. Moreover, signboards have been installed everywhere and a two-lane service road has been opened for traffic, said the source. Some car parking spaces have been removed and side roads paved to make the roads wider. The source said the 4km long road – 2km in each direction – is supposed to be blocked for four months.

“The development works of the first stage, extending from the King Faisal Bridge to the Etihad square opposite Abu Shagara and Qasimiya areas, started on July 25, and is expected to be completed on September 20.”

The second phase in the other direction is expected to start on September 20 and be completed on November 20, he added. “An additional Dh3.4 million has been added to the initial budget of Dh11.4 million,” he added.

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