Muscat: The Adam-Thumrait road dualisation will be completed in 2019, Ahmad Al Futaisi, the Minister of Transport and Communications told Oman’s Advisory Council.
He said the work on 600km of the 1,000km Muscat-Salalah road has been completed and the remaining 400km will be ready in 2019.
The Muscat-Salalah and the Dubai-Salalah road have witnessed many fatal road accidents; 70 people have been killed and 90 injured in the past three years alone, according to government figures.
The minister was hosted by the council on Sunday and Monday to discuss various sectors of transport and communications, including logistics, aviation, ports and maritime affairs, as well as areas of institutional development.
The Adam-Thumrait road costs the Omani government more than 200 million riyals (Dh1.9 billion), according to the ministry. The construction work began in May, 2016.
Traffic experts believe accidents on this stretch will be significantly reduced as a result of the opening of this dual carriageway.
Speaking to Gulf News, Ahmad Al Batashi, a traffic expert, said the current single-lane road does not have a divider, and this allows drivers to overtake in a wrong manner. “This is one of the major reasons for accidents on this route. Once the four-lane carriageway is ready, there will be a divider and vehicles cannot overtake using the wrong side of the road, which will reduce accidents,” he said.
Salim Al Kindi, Nizwa resident, said he lost two friends in a road accident on this stretch in 2013. “They were driving to Salalah to enjoy the Khareef season when the accident occurred. It was very tragic,” he said. Al Kindi added the Adam-Thumrait road will make driving safer. “I will take this road once its completed. Last summer, I travelled to Salalah by air.”
Saeed Al Amri, Salalah resident, said once the road is completed, it will a big relief for residents of Dhofar governorate. “Some are reluctant to use this road as it is not very safe. I prefer to travel by air from Salalah to Muscat,” he said.
James Paul, an American resident of Muscat, told Gulf News he has often travelled to Salalah province using the road. “A motorist needs to be more cautious and abide by the traffic rules while driving on this road. Any small mistake could cost you your life,” he said.
Economists believe once the road is completed, tourism and trade between Dhofar governorate and other governorates will get a boost.
Once the entire Adam-Thumrait project is complete, the link between Muscat and Salalah will be fully dualised.
Salalah is a popular summer destination for many in the GCC, especially during the sweltering summer months. It is known for its moderate temperatures and lush green landscapes.
A Royal Oman Police official said that speeding and wrong overtaking are the major reasons for road accidents on the Adam-Salalah stretch.
On average, two people are killed in road accidents every day in Oman.
Figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information show that 692 people were killed in road accidents in 2016, compared to 975 in 2015.