Dubai: Shindagha tunnel, the second oldest crossing on Dubai Creek between Deira and Bur Dubai, is set to be replaced soon,Gulf Newshas learnt.
The iconic tunnel, which is around 40 years old, is set to be replaced by a multi-lane bridge in the next few years, an official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) who is privy to the plans told Gulf News.
“The tunnel’s life is 50 years and it is already 40 years old. There are technologies available to enhance the life of the tunnel but these are not feasible right now,” said a senior RTA official.
With a stringent maintenance regime currently in place, the life of the tunnel could be extended by a maximum of another 20 years.
The crossing, one of the five across the Dubai Creek and the only one that links the two oldest business districts of Dubai, is regularly maintained but, according to the official, the maintenance is very expensive. Also, he said, the new bridge will increase the capacity.
“Currently, Shindagha Tunnel is one of the busiest crossings and we see a lot of traffic on both ends of the tunnel due to a bottleneck. A multi-lane bridge will solve the problem. Besides, it’s not easy to maintain the tunnel and it is very expensive. We considered various options, which included improving the tunnel and giving it a few more years. We also considered building another set of tunnels to replace the existing ones, but building the tunnels is three times more expensive than building a bridge,” said the official.