The construction of three bridges in Baghdad -- Zohour, Yarmuk and Mustansiriyah -- is nearly complete and Amanat Baghdad is preparing to open them soon to ease traffic in the capital.
"After completing development and paving work for access roads to these bridges during the coming period, the bridges will be fully completed and officially inaugurated for public vehicles," said Naim al-Kaabi, deputy Baghdad mayor for municipal affairs.
The three bridges are part of Amanat Baghdad's strategic plan that extends to 2014. The plan includes constructing 20 bridges in different areas of Baghdad.
Al-Kaabi told Mawtani that Amanat Baghdad is hoping to open five more bridges before the end of the year in a number of areas in the capital, including Muqatel al-Iraqi Square bridge, Salehiya intersection bridge and Mathaf Square bridge.
Amanat Baghdad workers have finalized the designs for eight bridges and are waiting for money to be allocated so construction can start at the beginning of 2012. These bridges include Khalani Square bridge in the Sanak area, Ahmed Orabi Square bridge in Karrada and Eden Square bridge in Kadhumiya.
Hakeem Abdul Zahra, director of media and public relations at Amanat Baghdad, said the three bridges would be opened by mid-June at the latest.
"All the bridges that have been completed and those in progress were constructed by specialized local companies with high efficiency and according to international specifications and standards," Abdul Zahra told Mawtani.
The Zohour intersection bridge will link the two areas of Iskan and Ramadan 14th intersection in Mansour. It is about 437 meters long and 16 meters wide, and costs 13 billion dinars to construct.
The Yarmuk intersection bridge will link several neighborhoods in the area. It is about 450 meters long and 16 meters wide, and costs 9 billion dinars.
The Mustansiriyah bridge costs 12 billion dinars. Officials expect it will greatly help ease traffic around Mustansiriyah University, which is usually crowded with buses and small vehicles.
Citizens said the bridges would provide much-needed relief from traffic congestion.
"We avoid driving on some streets in Baghdad, such as the street where Yarmuk Hospital is located, because we know in advance that they are crowded most of the time during the day," said Emad Turki, 36, a taxi driver in Baghdad.
"The new bridges will absorb the congestion in these streets and facilitate the flow of traffic there. This will relieve citizens of the trouble of delays and waiting in long lines of cars," he said.
Muhanned Fadhil, 22, a university student, said, "Traffic jams reach their peak during official working hours. They often prevent us from arriving at university in time for the start of lectures. We hope that the inauguration of the new bridges will help alleviate the burdens of these jams for all citizens."
Amanat Baghdad completed four bridges late last year: the Dabbash bridge in Kadhumiya, which cost $17 million, the Sharjah and Shabab bridges in Baya, which cost $23 million, and Talibiya bridge in the Shaab area, which cost $28 million.