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Marj Al Hamam traders bemoan toll from road closures due to bridge, tunnel construction

By Maria Weldali - Feb 18,2020 - Last updated at Feb 18,2020

AMMAN — As the Ministry of Public Works and Housing moves ahead with bridge and tunnel construction works at Marj Al Hamam intersection, revenues of local businesses are coming to a grinding halt, a phenomenon that impacted traders are attributing to a lack of appropriate detour signage.

“The lack of organisational and procedural work for the implementation of the ministry’s major construction work in the area has come at the expense of its merchants,” Yousef Al Qaisi, member of an impacted traders committee, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Qaisi noted that he is only able to employ three of his former 18 employees, and while he previously made around JD1,000 in sales each day, “now it would be a lucky day if we make JD100”.

“It is not only me who has been affected,” he added.

The committee member highlighted the need for various solutions to propel revenues, including provisional roads and detour signs, as well as highly reflective signage that delineates access to the area’s shops.

“Unfortunately, more than 20 shops have closed in Marj Al Hamam,” Qaisi noted.

About 100 shops have been affected by street closures and the ministry’s major construction projects in the area for a substantial period of time, ACC President Khalil Hajj Tawfiq told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

“The ACC has served to show the adverse impact of ongoing construction projects by organising meetings with the affected stakeholders and managing and monitoring their needs while sending documents detailing urgent cases to the court and providing estimates on income losses,” the president said.

The ACC council prioritises merchants’ demands, especially those regarding compensation for losses and reduced revenues due to ministry projects, Hajj Tawfiq said.

Construction on the Marj Al Hamam bridge and tunnel is more than 35 per cent complete, Ministry Spokesperson Omar Maharmah told The Jordan Times on Tuesday. 

Construction work at the intersection began in April 2019, and is going according to the timeframe laid out by the ministry, Maharmah added, noting the expected duration of the project is 18 months.        

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