JEDDAH: IBRAHIM NAFFEE
Published — Monday 3 December 2012
Last update 3 December 2012 7:18 am
Jeddah Mayor’s Office announced the completion of the SR 185 million seafront development project and declared it open yesterday even though maintenance and road pavement works continued in the area.
The corniche, which is decorated by palm trees and lighting poles along the beach, saw thousands of people descend upon the saplings, many of which were destroyed. Other facilities where work continued include public toilets and commercial kiosks, which are yet to be handed over to investors.
The northern sea front development included green spaces, seven fountains on the beach and 24 in the sea, car parking, restaurants, coffee shops and playgrounds for children. The entire area is equipped with ramps for the handicapped. There are several high locations overlooking the sea and zones for swimming, as well as a walkway along the shore. The development project stretches for 8.3 km, starting from Annawras Square in the north to the Border Guard Center in the south. Infrastructure projects of rainwater drainage and sewer networks are also included, as well as power fittings.
An official at the Mayor’s Office said cleaning and removing construction waste, in addition to finalizing the 100 public toilets are the the only works remaining to be completed.
The opening of the waterfront was postponed for a month to finalize the awarding of kiosks and restaurants to investors who will operate them.
On Friday, Mayor Hani Abu Ras ordered the police to take action against young men who vandalized the new beach project.
“Abu Ras was present at the beach project under construction when two joyriding vehicles ran over the newly planted green area and drove on the pedestrian paths and pavement. The mayor blocked their destructive activities by standing in front of one of the vehicles. On seeing the mayor calling police, the joyriders fled the scene,” Galal Khatib, director of projects of the contracting company, told Al-Madinah daily.
However, the mayor had noted down the registration numbers of the cars and handed them to police for necessary action, Khatib said.
The mayor arrived at the place without any previous announcement to view the progress of the work and ensure it would be ready for opening shortly.
Khatib said some people disfigured the seats facing the sea and the garden on an earlier occasion. The street lighting was also damaged by some anti-social elements. On Friday a large number of people including families entered the project area. Another group of youths vandalized the closed toilets from outside. They broke windows, damaged water taps and wrecked the loud speakers meant for prayer calls and announcement of festival events. They also removed some traffic barriers and damaged vehicles of the contracting company, he said.
He added that some people even cooked in the green area and damaged the place seriously.