Is the extension up the Creek?

Apart from some obscure place in Wales where there is a river that runs uphill, water, given the choice, will generally choose to flow the other way. And this has become a bit of an issue for the team constructing the Dubai Creek Extension, as they scratch their heads in search of a solution to the problem of crossing the 12-lane Sheikh Zayed Road.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  October 14, 2006

|~||~||~|Apart from some obscure place in Wales where there is a river that runs uphill, water, given the choice, will generally choose to flow the other way.

And this has become a bit of an issue for the team constructing the Dubai Creek Extension, as they scratch their heads in search of a solution to the problem of crossing the 12-lane Sheikh Zayed Road.

It may seem surprising that this was not addressed a little bit earlier in the construction programme – at the start for example.

But I suppose it could have been one of those situations where the bloke in charge said: “Tell you what lads, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Now that they have come to it, the question of how to cross it does not yet appear to have been agreed. If there was ever a time that the Sheikh Zayed Road could be doing without any more road works, it is now.

And the avoidance of any disruption to traffic on the road as a result of the Creek Extension, is what seems to have been given top priority. That’s good news for everyone who owns a car in Dubai.

But how exactly do you bring a body of water, 500m wide at its broadest point, across the busiest road in the UAE without causing a few tailbacks?

One option would be to bring the canal underneath the road. But that could mean it would only really be navigable for model boats, vertically challenged kayak enthusiasts and pooh sticks.

Another would be to bring the road underneath the canal, but given the existing congestion on the highway, we can probably safely rule that one out too.

Perhaps a more workable idea would be to take the canal over the Sheikh Zayed Road via a bridge and a system of locks.

At the moment, this looks to be the most likely option. But it seems odd that a solution was not agreed at a much earlier stage than this.

This job should have been wrapped up by mid-2007. That deadline is looking a little optimistic at the minute.

But maybe it will be worth the wait if we can look forward to ships passing overhead on the drive home in the evening.||**||

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