Work will commence next month on a $124 million revamp of a major highway in Bahrain, with two roundabouts being replaced by flyovers.
The project on Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah Highway will involve transforming the Alba roundabout into the country’s first three-level interchange, while a two-level interchange is planned for Nuwaidrat roundabout, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
Once it is finished the new junction at the Alba roundabout will be the first in the country where one flyover passes above another.
Both projects are being funded by Kuwait through money allocated for the $10 billion Gulf Development Fund, which Bahrain’s GCC neighbours pledged in the wake of unrest in 2011 for housing, infrastructure and other projects.
Work on the new interchange will commence after an agreement was signed by Kuwait Constructions, Abdulla Ahmed Nass and Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Essam Khalaf at the ministry’s office in Manama.
It is due to be completed by August 2018.
“The revamp is unique because the Alba junction, once completed, will be one of the highest in elevation where we will have two of the three levels of this project on top of each other,” Works Ministry media and public relations director Fahad Buallay told the GDN.
“This means we will have two flyovers on top of each other, for the first time ever in Bahrain.”
“The revamp, which will transform Alba and Nuwaidrat roundabouts into a three-level interchange and two-level interchange respectively in three years, will connect different economic points of interest in the country.
“This includes the investment areas in the south of Bahrain leading to Durrat Al Bahrain, apart from the industrial areas of Sitra and Ma’ameer.
“As the Alba junction connects to King Hamad Highway, it also eases traffic towards many major residential areas like Sanad, Al Hajjiyat and other Riffa areas and also to major residential areas like Riffa Views.
“Additionally, it also easily connects Manama with the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), especially during the Formula One race, as well as other business generating areas including shopping malls and major commercial areas in Riffa and in the Southern Governorate.
“The revamp of the highway will also serve a number of other residential projects in the area, including East Sitra, Jaw, Askar and Hawrat Sitra projects.”
The BD3.95 million ($10.4 million) preparatory phase of the project commenced last November and is scheduled for completion in mid-August.
“The three-year long work on this major highway will not affect the traffic flow, as the everyday crowd driving through diverted areas of the intersection will not face a challenge,” said Buallay.
“The challenge is for the engineers and other technical people who handle the extensive project.”
“Though we are starting the actual work next month, the overall project commenced much earlier when the government took the necessary steps to ease this challenge.”