There has been an increase in motorists using the Al Maktoum Bridge and Al Garhoud Bridge Salik toll gate in Dubai. On Monday, toll gate operator Salik Co attributed the surge in traffic on the two bridges to the closure of the Floating Bridge.

During October-December 2023, there was a massive increase of 53.6 per cent in the number of revenue-generating trips that motorists took through Al Maktoum Bridge due to the closure of the Floating Bridge and diversion of traffic, excluding paid taxi trips, it said in its annual results released on Monday.

Similarly, Al Garhoud Bridge saw the number of revenue-generating trips, excluding taxi trips, increasing 12.2 per cent in Q4 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year.

Following the closure of the Floating Bridge, traffic from Sharjah, Ajman and areas bordering Sharjah-Dubai was mostly headed towards these two bridges.

On April 14, 2023, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the closure of the Floating Bridge in both directions for 5 weeks starting April 17, 2023, to give way to major maintenance works.

To ensure a smooth traffic flow, the authority charted out an integrated plan to reroute the traffic to alternative roads and crossings. These included Al Maktoum Bridge, Infinity Bridge, and Al Garhoud Bridge. RTA opened Al Mamzar Street’s exit for motorists coming from Al Ittihad Street.

On May 20, 2023, the Floating Bridge’s closure was extended until further notice and it remained closed due to maintenance works.

There are currently eight toll gates operated by Salik and another two will be launched later this year.

Excluding both Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud Bridges, Salik said its revenue-generating trips increased 7.9 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter and 9.3 per cent for the full year as compared to 2022. Several gates saw YoY growth exceed 10% in the fourth quarter, including Jebel Ali (16%) and Airport Tunnel (13%) with other gates growing in the high-single-digit range, including Al Mamzar North (9%); Al Barsha (7%) and Al Safa (7%).

Registered vehicles increased 9 per cent to 4 million, it said.

Salik posted 11.7 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue-generating trips in 2023, setting a new record of 461.4 million.

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