The northern area of Arriyadh is experiencing a rapid urban growth, which will be certainly accompanied by a growth in traffic volumes on the Thumamah Road, among other corridors.
In fact, this corridor will have a certain importance for the expansion at the north area of Arriyadh, since it is expected to fulfill transportation requirements while, in parallel, it has to be
the backbone of an urban development offering space for job opportunities, retail, leisure and the like.
Accordingly, the Metropolitan Development Strategy for Arriyadh (MEDSTAR) recommended to upgrade the Thumama Road from its current status, as a “major arterial” in the City,
to “urban freeway” standards.
As mentioned above, the Thumamah Road is located in the northern parts of Arriyadh city, midway between the first Ring Road – North leg and Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Road
(second ring road). The Western Section of the Road, which extends along 15.5 km between King Khaled Freeway and the Airport Road, intersects eleven different major crossing roads.
From its current status, the Thumamah corridor is upgraded into a 3 and 4 lanes urban freeway with the two associated service roads. In the same way, each one of the current
intersections is conditioned into two or three levels interchanges. For these interchanges along the western section of the Thumamah corridor 15 new structures (viaducts, overpasses and underpasses) are designed.
The contract also includes the design of the “Iconic Bridge” for the King Abdul Aziz road at the Abu Dabi square, close to Arriyadh City Centre. The location of the bridge is critical from the strategic
perspective, since it is intended to provide a grade-separated free movement along King Abdul Aziz Road, which is a major arterial that bisects the city in the North-South direction.
Considering the bridge location in a culturally rich area close to the Riyadh Air Base, the suggested architectural design for the “Iconic Bridge” should fit in the prevailing cultural environment and preserve its characteristics.
The Iconic Bridge has been named “Ibn Firnas”, since the design evokes the figure of this Arabic polymath, who designed the first mechanism to fulfill the dream of flying.