By Faisal Al-Sulami
MAKKAH – The construction of a flyover in Makkah has cut off Nawariya residents, who now have to travel four kilometers to get across and meet close relatives and friends who live just opposite on the other side.
“We have been waiting for the work on this flyover to finish for several years. We never expected the bridge would cut us off from our relatives.
The construction of the bridge is stalled due to a technical mistake,” said Ahmed Nasser Al-Fahmi. “Our happiness will not be complete until this problem is solved.”
The bridge is constructed from the north to south in the center of the district and if residents on its east want to meet their relatives living in the west, they have to cross four kilometers, he said while speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
Col. Fouzi Al-Ansari, spokesman of the Traffic Department in Makkah, downplayed the citizens’ concerns, saying their problems will be solved when the project is completed.
“The traffic committee is studying prospects of providing exists from the bridge for people to cross to the other side,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
Al-Fahmi said people of Nawariya had pinned hope on this flyover to reduce traffic bottlenecks and ensure quick transport of students and teachers.
“But the long separation of the eastern part of the district from its west has ruined our happiness. The bridge has now restricted our movement within the district,” Al-Fahmi said.
Fahd Al-Hazmi said he was finding difficulty to take his children from the western part of Nawariya to their school in the east after the construction of the bridge, which has divided the district into east and west, making mobility cumbersome and time-consuming.
“I leave home with children early in the morning but still we reach school very late,” he added. He urged the authorities to find a quick solution for the problem.
Hassan Al-Qurashi said the construction of the bridge without exits has cut off people in the district, affecting their social life. “We call upon the Traffic Department and Makkah Municipality to look into the issue immediately to find a viable solution,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
Col. Al-Ansari of the Traffic Department urged Nawariya residents to be patient until the work is completed and give the authorities enough time to solve the technical mistake.
“The Traffic Committee is weighing different solutions to enable residents of Nawariya to cross into both sides of the bridge without taking much time,” he added.