The Jeddah municipally will soon start removal of the city’s iconic Bicycle Square (Darraja) as part of a plan to ease traffic jams and bottlenecks on King Fahd Road (Sitteen). This follows the municipality’s awarding of a contract to a Chinese company to build an underpass at Falak Square. Removal of Falak (orbit) and the nearby Darraja would contribute substantially in facilitating smooth traffic flow along King Fahd Road, one of the main arteries in the city.
Ibrahim Kutubkhana, undersecretary for construction and projects at the municipality, said that awarding the contract for Darraja project would be made in the near future. Darraja, which was constructed 30 years ago, is one of the main landmarks in Jeddah.
“After removing the colossal model of bicycle, proper renovation would be made and will be re-installed at the square after completion of the traffic project. The model will be re-erected in a new form suiting to the development of the square at an elevated platform so as to be visible from distant directions,” he said.
Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras signed in February a contract with a Chinese company to build an underpass at Falak Square where King Fahd Road intersects with Sari Street. The SR 87.89 million project will have to be completed in 24 months. It includes the construction of a 750-meter-long roadway and 13.5-meter-wide tunnel, passing under Falak Square, without damaging the monument at the center of the square. The tunnel will contain two carriageways, with three lanes each. The contract will also cover improvement of side roads to ensure the flow of traffic during the construction work.
Kutubkhana said that there is also a plan to build a flyover at the intersection of King Fahd Road and Industrial Institute Road.
“The municipality started using readymade bridges that can save 30 percent of the time for implementing the project. The flyover project at the intersection of Prince Majed Sreet and Prince Muhammad Street would be completed within 40 days,” he said.
According to a study carried out by the technical division at the municipality, a total of 76 beautiful models and 15 fountains have been removed as part of the new traffic development projects. About 13 models have been moved to other locations while there is a proposal to remove another 52 models.
Jeddah, also called the Bride of the Red Sea, is famous for its landmark roundabouts such as Darraja, Falak, Saroukh (missile), Safeena (ship), Kura Al-Ardiya (Globe), and Maidan Tariq (historic square). The model of plane from the square named after it on Prince Majed Street was removed for the implementation of the traffic project. It is now at the nearby Prince Majed Park while Al-Tawhid model, developed by the great artist Al-Mahdi Waleed, was shifted from the square at Al-Hamra district to Shatie district.