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BRT construction work on Sahafa Tunnel to start in two weeks — GAM

By Dana Al Emam - Jul 10,2017 - Last updated at Jul 10,2017

The Greater Amman Municipality will start construction work at the Sahafa (Press) Tunnel section of the Bus Rapid Transit project in two weeks, according to an official (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) will start construction work at the Sahafa (Press) Tunnel section of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in two weeks, an official said on Sunday.

However, engineering and mobilisation work for the year-long project has already started, said Riyad Kharabsheh, head of the BRT project at the municipality, noting that detours will be put in place in the area based on the work plan. 

In addition to constructing the BRT lane over the tunnel, the final project will include a station for passengers and a substation for the BRT, he told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Meanwhile, the head of the project said traffic detours will change the current rotation of the traffic lights at the intersection, switching the four phases to two. 

Within a month, GAM will float a tender for the Sports City intersection and another tender for a terminal building at the Sweileh station, Kharabsheh underlined. 

The multimillion-dinar project, which GAM started in 2009, before it was halted in 2011, entails operating premium, high-capacity buses that can carry more than 120 passengers per bus and which are expected to run every three minutes during peak hours on segregated lanes along Amman’s busiest roads.

Work on the project stopped in the summer of 2011, amid concerns over its feasibility and funding. The Cabinet then suspended it and halted all related tenders. 

In 2013, the government decided to resume the project, as part of a plan to provide transport solutions and ease traffic congestion in the capital.

The first section of the BRT project starts at the Sweileh Circle and passes through University (Queen Rania) Street, the Sports City area, and Shahid and Istiqlal streets, ending at the Mahatta area, GAM said in a previous statement. 

The second section will run from the Jordan Museum in Ras Al Ain neighbourhood and end at the Sports City, passing through Princess Basma Street and the 5th Circle.

The third section will extend between the Mahatta area and the Customs Department in Muqabalein, passing through Yarmouk Street and the Middle East Circle, the
statement added.

Last month, His Majesty King Abdullah met with officials in the transportation sector and underlined the “vitality” of the sector, saying that it should not be “neglected or exploited to serve personal interests”, as deterioration in such services affects the lives of all citizens and harms the national economy. 

The King pointed out that the sector is witnessing a “worrying regression” and he urged stakeholders to take all the necessary executive and correctional measures, as well as making the necessary legislative changes to reform the sector. 

“It cannot be accepted that people suffer to reach their places of work or homes because of the absence of a public transport system which respects their humanity and meets their needs,” His Majesty said during the meeting.

 

The BRT will be the “first choice” of those who commute along the bus route, Kharabsheh said, adding that the project will provide passengers with “reliable and a scheduled and premium” transportation service.

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