Middle East

Egypt’s new Elsahel road leads to accidents and turmoil | News

Cairo’s fleet embarked on an annual move to escape the heat of the capital, on the northwestern coast of the Mediterranean, as temperatures in Cairo in Egypt soared to summer highs in parallel with the end of the school year and Eid al-Adhah’s vacation. Heading to the lined gated compound, a place where a cool breeze blows through an untouched beach.

Their hours of commuting to the North Coast or Elsahel have recently been controversial and newly modified for complex layouts incorporating nine “maze-like” suspended roundabouts and two-way frontage roads. Take them along the highway.

Follow the instructions by President Abdel Fatta ElsisiThe refurbishment of the Alexandria-Matrouh Highway (more commonly referred to as the El-Sahel Road) was designed to minimize road collisions that killed thousands and increase traffic capacity.

“Before the upgrade, the old El Sahel road was one of Egypt’s most dangerous roads, but it was still one of the most frequent roads,” said a state-owned construction giant involved in much of the government’s infrastructure. The Arab Contractors sources project told Al Jazeera.

Nonetheless, many users of refurbished roads quickly pointed out that their “defective” design could potentially go against that goal.Shared by social media users video The number of vehicles facing other vehicles at the flyover gridlock when the driver is having a hard time figuring out where the exit is.

“It was absolutely chaotic,” said Sandy El-Nouby, 26, a vacationer who recently traveled on the freeway. “There were few or no direction signs along the road. For those who drive there for the first time after the refurbishment, I drove another 14 kilometers. [8.7 miles] I didn’t know which subway or bridge would go where, “she said, explaining that the journey was stressful.

Criticism has reached Elsisi. In the midst of an online turmoil, State Transport Minister Camel El Wajir appears on Egyptian television, and the Commission is reviewing the flaws in the highway that have been repaired at the request of the President and looking for solutions. Said.

Still, at the beginning of July, during Eid’s vacation, the road and its problematic roundabout remained open to the stream of beach-goers. Twitter users shared unconfirmed No collisions have been officially confirmed in vehicle accident reports.

“Fatal road”

In 2019, the Old Elsahel Road was dubbed the “New Road of Death” by the pro-government newspaper Albawaba after 60 car accidents and at least 20 commuters died in two months.

These accidents were caused by “U-turns sporadically placed along the Alexandria-Matru Highway,” explained the Arab Contractors executive manager, who wishes to remain anonymous. -Turn to access coastal villages and suddenly shift from low speed lanes to high speed lanes, significantly increasing the number of accidents.

According to the official government statistics bureau, about 15,000 car accidents occurred on old roads in 2016, killing more than 5,300 people and injuring more than 18,500.

These amazing numbers and the government’s continued push to build new roads across the country have resulted in refurbishment of the busy 55km (34 miles) section of the 780km (485 miles) highway.

Construction, which began in mid-June, added two lanes to the main road, four frontage roads on each side, and expanded the highway from four lanes to ten lanes in each direction. The project also introduced nine suspended multi-lane roundabouts, each associated with an on-ramp and an off-ramp, to replace the traditional U-turn.

“This effort aims to limit and control the points at which drivers can switch lanes, thus actively reducing the incidence of accidents,” said an Arab Contractors source. ..

Officially, Egypt seems to be doing a good job in advancing the road network. Since setting the development of road infrastructure as a priority in 2014, the 23,500 km (14,602 miles) road network has been refurbished and expanded nationwide. Egypt has improved road quality from 118th place in the 2014 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. 28 days by 2019.

However, the situation surrounding the Elsahel Road is the latest in controversy among Egyptians, with some praising the development and others expressing skepticism.

“Confusing and tricky”

According to 22-year-old vacationer Adham Abousrei, the frontage roads on either side of the highway are the busiest and “mostly lead to the entrance to the gated community of Elsahel, and some of the roads are congested.” … apparently … Whenever multiple vehicles line up to fit into one. “

El Nouby, who drove on the freeway from Cairo, made illegal U-turns by some drivers taking advantage of the lack of barriers on some of the two-way frontage roads, near a coastal village on one side of the freeway. I observed that it was causing more congestion in. And other cafes and restaurants.

But not everyone thinks there is a problem with the road.

“It’s tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a safer upgrade from the old road,” said 26-year-old Mohammed Wasef, who traveled to El Sahel a few days ago.

Kuwait-based Egyptian civil engineer Ahmed Ragab told his YouTube channel Creative Engineering that roads are safe, but “incompatible with Egyptian driving culture, where drivers don’t bother to learn about road etiquette.” ..

“In addition to installing directory signs, separating two-way frontage roads, and increasing the number of police patrol the road, there is a need for an extensive awareness campaign to explain this road and other roads to the general public. “He advised. ..

Authorities have begun to take such steps.

Police have begun intensive patrols of the highways to enforce the rules and help those in distress.

Transport in Egypt has also set up an operating room to monitor drivers on the road via radar, and the Ministry of Interior has released a guide on how citizens should use roundabouts and their bridges. ..

El-Sisi, meanwhile, said the highway would only be fully completed in mid-August and accused the contractor of not clarifying it to the driver.

“Once the road is complete, this includes technical work, adding road signs and directions, and police to regulate movement,” Elsisi explained. “Wait until it’s done and explained to you.”

This article was published in collaboration with Egab..

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/19/egypts-deadly-new-el-sahel-road-leaves-drivers-confused Egypt’s new Elsahel road leads to accidents and turmoil | News

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