Assessment and Design of the Proposed Underpass of Faisal/Haifa Street in Nablus City
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M. Salahat, Abdullah
H. Abu Ya’qoub, Ahmad
K. Kamal, Osama
Nablus is considered one of the large cities in our country, due to the large population, the economic importance of the city, and because of its location, that makes Nablus City work as a corridor that vehicles pass to get from the eastern sides to the western sides of the West-Bank and vice versa. These factors make the only arterial road that passes Nablus (Faisal / Haifa St.) very congested especially at its middle part from Al-Ballor till Al-Salam Intersection, this leads to many problems. The capacity of the Faisal/Haifa Street is not enough for the flow of vehicles, number of pedestrians that cross the street is high and makes delay for the traffic. Part of traffic flow doesn't start or end at the city center, just pass to other sides. Therefore, this study proposes a solution to solve these problems which implies constructing an underpass that crosses the Central Business District (CBD) area. This will increase the capacity of the corridor by dividing the flow; all vehicles that need to pass from one side of the city to the other without need to enter CBD (found to range between 30-50% of the original flow on the corridor throughout the counted hours) will be able to use the underpass, while all the vehicles will experience reduction in the travel time and will therefore allow better pedestrian movements and reduce their conflict with vehicles. The methodology used starts with collecting, studying and analyzing the correlating data for the corridor. to determine the volume of the traffic that passes the region, and to examine the extent of traffic flow that will use the proposed underpass to positively solve the CBD traffic congestion. Next, the methodology implies developing specific alternatives such as those related to where the underpass will start, where it will end, how many lanes it will have, where it's alignment, whether there will be an underpass for pedestrians, and whether it will be partially or totally closed. Finally, the methodology implies designing the geometry of the underpass, with the estimated cost of the project. Generally; the adopted alternative implies that the underpass is approximately 1600 meter (1mile) long, which consists of 2 lanes for each direction that would serve generally one-third to about one-half of the overall corridor traffic. The underpass design complies with the proposed pedestrian tunnel in front of Al-Watani Hospital. The underpass also includes in one option natural ventilation areas of total 300 m length, and emergency exits every 300 m approximately, and costs 13.9 million $not including infrastructure and operational systems. And since the length is approximately 1 mile; a proposed name for the underpass was given to be “THE MILE TUNNEL”.