(MENAFN - Arab News) The intersection overpass linking Prince Majed and Tahlia Street, in which construction dragged on for more than four years, is nearing completion, the Jeddah municipality announced.
Another intersection overpass between Madinah and Sari Street will also follow within 23 days at most.
The two projects are currently under the supervision of Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras, to ensure the construction work is completed on schedule.
In addition, the project managers and Secretariat officials are holding daily meetings and taking field visits to the construction site to oversee the work.
The construction work for this project commenced in 2008 with a timeframe of 24 months. However, from the onset the project faced many obstacles, including delays in obtaining the authorization documents from the traffic department and more seriously due to the unforeseen issue of water pipelines passing through the area that was unaccounted for in the project plan.
Subsequently, an order was issued to halt work on the project until alternative amendments and changes were made to the design. The work resumed in 2009, after the initial plan was readjusted. However, further complications hampered and delayed the project, including the two layers of water isolation that needed to be constructed and a fire that broke out as a result of a fuel leakage.
Due to these difficulties, the construction work once again came to a standstill in 2011.
Consequently, a committee was formed to address these problems, comprising members of the Secretariat, the Civil Defense and the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Agency. All parties in the committee agreed on removing the isolation layers and installing a layer of HDPE instead.
During Ramadan, Prince Mansour bin Mutaib, minister of Municipalities and Rural Affairs, gave his orders for work on the project to resume and requested that the contractor set a deadline for the completion of the overpass, with fines incurred for every day the project is delayed.
Meanwhile, the construction work on the overpass intersection project linking Madinah and Sari Street has resulted in massive traffic congestion, with witnesses describing two lanes of traffic on each side of the road.
This project should have been finished in early 2012, yet the completion date was extended six months and then another 75 days by orders from Prince Mansour bin Mutaib.
Delays in the last project were attributed to changes related to electrical and mechanical work, as well as telephone cables, according to sources in the Secretariat.
The multiple delays led to an increase in the project's budget from SR 94 million to SR 104 million, due to the extra costs incurred. However, this increase was within the permissible and legal percentage, which should be no more than 10 percent of the total budget.
By IRFAN MOHAMMED