Istiklal Street in Manama, Bahrain, will be increased to five lanes amid a government-backed project to ease traffic congestion.

A revamp of the Al Mahzoura Avenue-Estiqlal Highway intersection has started, the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning, HE Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf, said.

A right turn for incoming traffic from Al Mahzoura Avenue towards Estiqlal Highway will be constructed. So too will two eastward lanes leading to Avenue 47 and a single right-hand lane on Estiqlal Highway.

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Street lighting will also be improved as part of a second package of "urgent" road improvement works to address congestion in the capital city, Bahrain News Agency reported.

Redevelopment work on the intersection could reduce bottlenecks by 28% for the 50,000 daily road users, the government said, adding that up to 3,200 vehicles need to use the intersection at rush hour every day.

Road improvement is a priority for Bahrain's government, Khalaf said, who stressed that sustainable economic growth was "closely linked" to the nationwide development of urban infrastructure. 

Work to improve the intersection at Al Mahzoura Street and Istiklal Street is part of a much border, complex, and comprehensive government plan to revamp the county's road network.

Khalaf said that government's efforts to step-up road improvement work will lead to an expansion of the country's transport capacity, helping Bahrain to cope with population growth and more vehicles on the roads.