Industry slams RTA delivery restrictions

Construction activity in Dubai is being hampered by the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) restrictions over the transport of building materials to construction sites during the day. The RTA was unavailable to comment.

NEWS, Business

Construction activity in Dubai is being hampered by the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) restrictions over the transport of building materials to construction sites during the day. The RTA was unavailable to comment.

The restrictions - coupled with the mid-day work ban - have slowed work in progress.

Lane restrictions, time restrictions, congestion, massive population growth and poor access to sites have added to the industry's woes.

Building material suppliers are now being forced to deliver 70% of their product after dark, leading to complaints about construction noise at night.

"The problem is logistics," Darryl Matthews, general manager of concrete firm Readymix Gulf told Construction Week.

"It's become exceptionally difficult. The general productivity of our fleet has fallen substantially over the last couple of years by as much as 40% per vehicle."

Movement of laden heavy goods vehicles (HGV) is restricted between 6am to 8.30am, 1pm to 3pm and 5.30pm to 8pm.

Journeys have been banned in the morning slot, with movement restricted to 10 laden truck journeys within the mid-day and evening slots.

The RTA reversed its decision to ban delivery altogether during the later times because of the limited shelf life of concrete, which must be delivered within two to three hours of being mixed.

"Concrete suppliers pleaded the case," said Readymix Gulf commercial manager Terry Mason. "We said that once we have started a job, we can't stop. The RTA recognised that and gave us permission to move 10 loaded trucks."

Besides suppliers, contractors are also losing time and money over delayed materials deliveries.

Simplex Infrastructure country director Ani Ray said if a project worth around US $100 million was delayed by a day, contractors would lose $160,000.

UAE Contractors Association vice-chairman Imad Al-Jamal said the restrictions were economic.

Not all roads in the emirate were designed for heavy vehicles," he said. "The way out of the restriction has to be gradual due to the need for safety. Roads must be designed to take construction loads from A to B around the clock." The RTA was unavailable to comment.

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