KUWAIT: This photo shows a pothole, one of many littering Kuwait's streets.
KUWAIT: This photo shows a pothole, one of many littering Kuwait's streets.

4 initiatives Kuwait is working on to fix road conditions

KUWAIT: Over the past few weeks, government bodies have been actively working to develop solutions to improve the condition of the country’s pothole-ridden roads and curb the public’s poor adherence to driving laws. Officials have announced new initiatives and provided updates on ongoing projects towards road repairs and stricter enforcement of the law. The announcements come in line with Kuwait Vision 2035, which includes expanding the roads by a third of its size, increasing it from around 6,000 km to over 9,000 km, and is expected to greatly improve Kuwait’s status a financial and trade hub. Kuwait times has rounded up a list of initiatives which are currently on the go.

18 tenders

On June 4, the Board of Directors of the Central Agency for Public Tenders was endorsed by the Cabinet to float 18 tenders submitted by the Ministry of Public Works for projects focusing on extensive maintenance of roads and highways in various parts nationwide.

This was announced in a statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sharida Al-Maousherji after the Cabinet meeting held at Seif Palace, under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. “The move comes in implementation of the directives of His Highness the Prime Minister regarding the need to start maintaining the streets, immediately for the sake of motorists,” Maousherji said.

Rubber asphalt

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research announced on May 28 that it has successfully implemented a project that contributes to the treatment and repair of roads using high-performance rubber asphalt technology. KISR said in a press release that the project, which it has been developing and testing over years in cooperation with the ministries of defense and public works, contractors and asphalt producers, “can be built upon and used to treat and repair roads in the country.”

KISR stated that the project team supervised the maintenance and re-paving of several roads within the institute’s campus using this technology, applying modern theoretical and practical techniques. The institute added that the technology will be beneficial and is expected to work on roads across Kuwait.

Cairo street project

On May 27, Public Works Minister Dr Noura Al-Mashaan announced that most restoration works of the 11-km-long Cairo Street, one of Kuwait’s main roads, have been finalized and the remaining tasks are proceeding according to schedule. Cairo Street links several residential districts and regions starting from Shaheed Park and ending in Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Center.

Speaking after she inspected the worksites, Dr Al-Mashaan said 92.2 percent of the project has been executed, affirming that the venture is in line with the state’s approach to provide citizens with top-notch public services. “This is a bright stage in our efforts to attain the objective of providing an excellent infrastructure,” said Mashaan, referring to the Cairo Street project that covers the construction of three tunnels and six causeways.

The project also includes building seven pedestrian bridges, water and rain networks, phone communications, lighting, traffic signs and urban greenery. Kuwait’s domestic transport network already has seven ring roads, providing access to residential and industrial districts.

The ministry is also working on developing the Second and Third Ring Roads. Mashaan said that up to 97 percent of the renovation works have been accomplished in these locations, praising efforts exerted by the personnel of the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation.

Crushing cars

High on the government’s agenda is strict enforcing of traffic laws, Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousef said last March. Bad roads and poor driving habits in Kuwait, have caused 296 deaths in 2023 and over 50,000 accidents have been recorded as well as 9 million traffic violations.

Violations included over four million speed tickets, over 850,000 redlight violations, 300,000 for not wearing a seatbelt, as well as over 185,000 for using mobile phones while driving, according to the interior ministry’s traffic department.

Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousef has directed to implement comprehensive traffic preparations with care and accuracy to preserve the safety of road users. Moreover, he ordered the dispatch of traffic patrols to all main and secondary roads to safeguard intersections, monitor any violations of traffic rules and laws, and to reduce traffic jams.

On May 30, the Ministry of Interior confirmed that there is no tolerance for reckless driving and endangering the lives of others and began confiscating the vehicles of those caught driving recklessly. In a statement, the ministry said the penalty is aimed at protecting road users from those who jeopardize the lives of people. “Law will be decisively applied to all violators”, the ministry’s department of security media and public relations added in a statement. It urged anyone who witnesses reckless driving to contact the emergency department at 112 or the WhatsApp of the General Directorate of Traffic at 99324092.

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