Mubarak Inaugurates Time-Saving Azhar Tunnels
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday inaugurated a pair of traffic tunnels equipped with the latest safety innovations, which have been dug under Cairo's historical Al Azhar quarter to link the city center to ring roads.
The two one-way tunnels both have two lanes and run 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles), press reports said, putting costs at EP890 million ($210,4 million).
The tunnels start at Opera Square in the center of the capital, and offer an alternative route to the ring roads, relieving traffic in the Islamic district of Al Azhar which is chronically backed up and spewing pollution.
The double tunnel is part of a plan to modernize "Fatimid Cairo" and deal with the rapidly increasing load of traffic, Transport Minister Ibrahim Al Dumeiri said, quoted by MENA.
Stringent safety measures have been put in place for the new tunnels, built by Egypt's state-owned Arab Contractors together with several French companies, including Campenon Bernard, Eiffage and Spie, according to AFP.
With the new network of tunnels, a motorist can cross Cairo in 15 minutes, while it used to take three hours amid traffic jams, residents said - Albawaba.com
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