Bridging the Dubai Canal extension

Bridging the Dubai Canal extension

A proposed 1km bridge carrying traffic using Sheikh Zayed Road over the planned Dubai Water  Canal will take two-an-a-half years to complete says the man who designed the city’s Garhoud Bridge.

Architect Andre Meyerhans said the planned 8m tall 16 lane structure is a necessity if the $544m canal project is to be a success.

But he added that the work will have an enormous impact on vehicle flow – not just in the Downtown region but across the city.

Meyerhans said: “The project is absolutely do-able from an engineering point of view. There have been much more challenging projects realised in environmentally more difficult situations.

“Also looking at the entire canal project, the bridge itself is a necessity and makes architectural sense. If one would want to question the viability of the bridge, one would have to revisit the urban planning approach. And this is most likely not the intent.”

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed the 3km long canal project will connect the waterway from the Business Bay area to Jumeirah beach, cutting through Sheikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.

As part of the project, the 16-lane bridge will be built to carry traffic over the waterway up to 8.5m in height, allowing luxury yachts and boats to pass underneath.

The RTA said it is also planning for bridges carrying traffic along Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road.

A model of the project – made by 3dr models – was on show at last year’s Dubai Cityscape.

Swiss-born Meyerhans, who now lives in Dubai, designed the 520m, 14 lane, Al Garhoud Bridge over the city’s Creek which opened in 2008.

Drawing on his experience he said: “Similar structures [to the canal bridge] took around 2.5 years to construct. That is not including the entire design phase, which antecedes construction.

“This is for the bridge only which is part of a larger urban development. Obviously, there are many parameters that can influence the realisation period.

“Furthermore, events beyond human control can have a drastic impact on the completion dates. However, I would assume in this case that things will be facilitated to the utmost to achieve the set goals.”

Meyerhans said two things stood out for him when considering the challenges posed by the project.

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