Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) said work was progressing well on the Dh5.3 billion ($1.44 billion) Mafraq-Ghuwaifat International Highway project, linking western region cities and facilitating commercial transport on the international road.
The project, being implemented by Musanada in collaboration with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT), extends from Mafraq to the international borders with Saudi Arabia at Ghuwaifat, passing through the Al Ruwais industrial centre.
The scope of work includes the construction of 15 new upper interchanges, along with basic improvements to the existing interchanges at Mafraq, Hameem, Abu Al Abyad and Madinat Zayed interchanges, as well as major improvements on the existing interchanges, bringing the total improvement works up to 246 km long.
On the project, Faisal Al Suwaidi, DMAT’s director of main roads divisions, said: "It complements several other projects that aim to accommodate the expected increase in traffic volume, in order to keep pace with the accelerated growth experienced across all areas, besides improving the traffic safety on roads, eliminating congestions due to huge numbers of vehicles using this road, reducing the number of traffic accidents and increasing safety ratios and facilitating commercial land transport with neighbouring countries."
Since the inception of the project in March 2014, Musanada, in collaboration with DMAT, was keen to reinforce co-ordination and co-operation with the concerned authorities, particularly the General Headquarters of Abu Dhabi Police, to control progress in line with best methods and highest safety criteria, stated the official.
According to him, the ongoing co-ordination has been maintained to ensure traffic safety for vehicle users alongside the existing road, ensuring that the traffic flow is not affected.
"For this purpose, safe detours were constructed throughout all construction phases, following best safety specifications and in conformity with the standard specifications of DMAT’s Traffic Detours Manual and in accordance with latest international traffic standards," remarked Al Suwaidi.
"All traffic detours are reviewed and approved by the DMAT-Musanada team, after obtaining the final approval of the Traffic Engineering and Roads Safety Department at Abu Dhabi Police," he added.
Hamdan Ahmed Al Mazrouei, the acting roads director at Musanada, said: "The project encompasses construction of new lanes in both directions, from 2 to 4 lanes in each direction along the 182km-long section stretching from Mafraq until Baynounah Forest area, and from 2 to 3 lanes along the 46km-long section from Baraka to Ghuwaifat."
The project encompasses construction of lay-bys for road users (i.e. vehicles and trucks), he stated.
"There will be two shoulders on both right sides of the road for emergencies. In addition, work is in progress to construct a camel underpass close to Silaa and Ghuwaifat, serving camel’s owners in the areas surrounding the road and the camel race track close to Al Silaa area," explained Al Mazrouei.
According to hinm, Musanada has deployed a number of critical techniques that will enhance the level of environmental sustainability.
"The new road will be raised in many locations along the highway to avoid undesired impacts of underwater whilst helping drain rainwater, in light of the expected increase of traffic volume upon handover of the project in 2017, which will result in fulfilling several benefits for residents of the western region and road users, such as accommodating the flow of vehicles and trucks in full, minimizing congestions, enhancing safety and security standards and significantly reducing accident ratios," noted Al Mazrouei.
And as part of Musanada’s commitment in the area of green sustainability, the new project has been supplied with LED (light emiting diode) lighting systems which will achieve a minimum of 60 per cent drop in energy consumption, he added.
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