It involves the construction of two roads running parallel to the coast, between Sheikh Zayed and Emirates roads, passing through residential communities.

The low bidder is Italy’s Todini with a price of AED449m ($122m), followed by AED470m from Emirates Road Contracting. The other bidder is Japan’s Taisei Corporation, at AED498m.

One road will run from Al-Barsha around the back of Emaar Properties’ Springs, Meadows and Emirates Hills developments, and past Nakheel’s Ibn Battuta mall, the Gardens residential development and the Al-Furjan project, before reaching an intersection with the Jebel Ali industrial area.

The other road, closer to Sheikh Zayed road, will run from near the recently completed fifth interchange to interchange 5.5, which is being built to serve Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers.

The two roads caused an outcry among residents when the scheme was launched in 2006, as many believed it would result in the demolition of properties and the introduction of fast-moving traffic in residential areas.

It also had an impact on projects already being planned. Nakheel was forced to radically overhaul its plans in the Gardens and Jebel Ali Village area to accommodate the new road corridors.

The project has strong backing from the government, which regards it as essential to reducing congestion (MEED 9:11:07).