Muscat – Muscat Municipality is expanding Al Mouj and 18 November streets in its efforts to solve traffic congestion problems in the city.
In a statement, it said that to enhance the flow of traffic in the area, it will implement a project to widen Al Mouj and 18 November streets with an additional lane in each direction, besides transforming the roundabouts at Al Mouj, Bahja and Ishraq in North Al Hail into high-capacity signal intersections.
‘The project attempts to enhance access to and mobility in the area in different climatic conditions, and stimulate economic growth and prosperity of surrounding establishments,’ it stated.
The development evoked strong reaction from citizens. Hamed al Wahaibi, a driver by profession, said, “The project is a good step to solve the problem of congestion in the city. I wish part of the cost of the project could be borne by businesses in Muscat as part of their social responsibility.”
Another citizen, Adnan al Saadi said, “The project will facilitate traffic movement not only in the area but also to Bausher and Amerat, as well as add to the aesthetics of Muscat governorate.”
However, Dr Harith Abdullah, a medical practitioner, believes that “the area needs a flyover and not an additional lane or any traffic lights”.
Resident Anand Mohan tweeted, “Thank you so much. Good news for everyone living in North Al Hail. Hope the speed limit is set at 120kmph. Driving on November 18 to Al Mouj Roundabout and Bahja Roundabout is a major concern during peak hours. If Al Mazoon Street is also made three lanes, congestion may ease significantly.”
Ahmed bin Abdullah al Shanfari, a lawyer, said, “The project is an excellent step, because the expansion of roads will reflect on the development of life in all social and economic aspects, attract tourists and investors, and develop trade.”
Hamed al Araimi tweeted that Muscat needs a “second renaissance because all roundabouts require flyovers and the expansion of all roads to three lanes”.
According to Araimi, the road connecting Rusayl to Mabelah, passing through Al Khoud also needs to be developed, with the addition of a flyover, and widened to four lanes due to high population density on either sides of the road.
Yahya al Habsi also felt that building a flyover on the Al Mouj Roundabout is the solution to reduce congestion. “A signal junction will not help in the long run. The street also needs a walkway, a bike path and bus stops. This is how modern roads should be.”
Muscat Municipality had initially planned a flyover over Al Mouj Roundabout in 2017 and had got a budget allocated to prioritise the development of the flyover in 2018, according to the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU) of the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh) 2017 annual report.
‘The ISFU team also solved an issue faced by Al Mouj Muscat that could have potentially become an impediment to road traffic due to the growing tourism developments in the area. ISFU studied the issue and obtained a high-level decision on building a flyover that will help uplift the area as a whole,’ the report stated.