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‘New roads, bridges cannot solve Kuwait traffic chaos’

Project delays cause of rush: expert

KUWAIT CITY, April 20: Several experts unanimously agreed on the need for holistic solution to the traffic snarl in the country at a recent seminar organized by the Transport and Traffic Committee of the Engineers Society titled “Effects of Al-Ghazali Bridge Project and Project Management Technique”, reports Al-Seyassah daily. Chairman of Kuwait Society of Engineers Engineer Faisal Al- Etal assured that civil society organizations were not using the seminar to target any particular personality.

He said the main idea was to form partnership with the government to raise the level of awareness and assist in overcoming impediments against execution of national projects. He added the society has been proffering solutions to the issue of transport and traffic congestion in the country, noting some of the solutions were considered after a long time.

He also said close followers of the projects at various fields will realize that variation orders issued were in millions or even billions, and thereby, causing delay and abandonment of projects. In his contribution, Engineer Mansour Al-Shammari from the General Traffic Department shed light on efforts exerted by the General Traffic Department to ensure that projects were completed on schedule.

He declared Al-Ghazali Bridge is a gigantic project, considering its link to several other major roads and Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Bridge project whose execution started late. He disclosed concerned officials were caught in between two options; to wait for another six years before commencement of the project or start in earnest and complete it next November, as scheduled. He added the most difficult option was chosen and the department collaborated with Ministry of Public Works to execute the project. He added Kuwait University was cooperative in areas that affected its campuses.

In a speech, Project Engineer at the Ministry of Public Works Engineer Hanan Mahdi observed that inaccurate information passed to the public and failure to reach out to the people appropriately is the main source of problem. She pointed out that some issues beyond the ministry’s control became obstacles delaying the projects. She added the delay in completing Al-Ghazali Bridge was due to late commencement of Sheikh Al-Jaber Bridge, since both projects are interlinked.

She also said the ministry is currently implementing 27 projects worth about KD2.25 million and 70 percent work will be completed by the end of 2018. She wondered if the audience observes improvement in the road and traffic flow across Kuwait in the past three or four years.

For his part, professor of project management at the College of Engineering and Petroleum in Kuwait University Dr Hanouf Al-Humaidi declared concerted efforts and massive projects could not solve the traffic problems in Kuwait. She is of the view that construction of roads and bridges are few aspects of the solution, but not all. She recommended a comprehensive solution that will include mass transport system alongside the expansion of roads and construction of bridges.

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