By Nawara Fattahova (KuwaitTimes)
The traffic jams in Shuwaikh and other areas, particularly along the roads leading to the First Ring Road project, have not only made driving a frustrating experience but also turned it into a hot button issue in the wake of construction works that started on the Ghazali Road.
The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) held a press conference yesterday morning to brief the media on the development and infrastructure projects and the progress being made in the implementation. Engineer Sheikh Abdulaziz Al- Sabah, Director of the Road Engineering Department at the MPW said although people were blaming the ministry for the chaos on the roads, yet the projects were being delayed because of certain unresolved issues involving some institutions regarding completion of the Jamal Abdul Nasser Development Project and the Jahra Road Development Project. “We are not getting enough land to execute the project and those in charge of some institutions are not cooperating with us. For instance, the boundary wall of the Kuwait University is an obstacle in our work. We can temporarily shift the wall, and later relocate it at its original spot. Also, the Ministry of Communication, Fire Department, and the Ministry of Electricity and Water are not communicating with us,” he pointed out.
On his part, John Andrew Faulkner, Project Director of the Jamal Abdul Nasser Development Project said that the situation may hopefully improve soon with the cooperation of the Kuwait Port Company, which is involved in the traffic flow. “They will reduce traffic in this area by imposing restrictions on heavy vehicles passing through the congested area during the day time, which is between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm. Also, they should open the Port’s gate leading to the Airport Road to end the jam,” he told the Kuwait Times. According to him, the motorists will notice improvement during the upcoming phases of the project. “The project is slated to be completed in June 2016, but most of it will be completed by 2014 which will bring relief from the traffic jams.
Even though the MPW announced the planned construction activity, still the motorists complained that adequate notice was not given. Many drivers try to find a shorter route to escape the jam, only to land up in another jam. Many roads are affected due to the Ghazali constructions,” explained Faulkner.
Patience “Drivers have to keep more patience and should leave home earlier to reach their destination. The temporary detours do cost the drivers more time than usual, but they will become used to it. Also, we assure the motorists that all temporary detour stretches would be of the same length as the original road stretch till the project is completed. We need the cooperation of the institutions involved so that the contracted work is not delayed,” he further said.
The new development has been planned keeping in mind the expected growth in traffic volumes over the next 50 years. “The project would not be affected by the planned metro project, though in my opinion the metro needs to have parking lots in different areas,” he concluded. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sabah highlighted the fact that the MPW is not delaying the work and said could prove it on the basis of documents. “We thank the Municipality and the Ministry of Health for their cooperation, but most other institutions are not cooperating and this causes delay.
The Ministry of Interior demanded that we ensure compliance on 13 observations but we are unable to comply with all of them due to the obstacles that we face with institutions which are not communicating. We will frequently hold press conferences to inform people about the situation,” he noted. Also engineer Ahmad Al-Bahar, Head of the Execution Department of Highways, spoke about the delay on Yarmour Bridge project and the fact that water pipes caused a fault in a part of the project. The MPW is working to fix this problem. He also said that the execution of Sheikh Jaber Bridge project will start in the first quarter of next year.