An alternative highway between Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates is taking shape, with 60 per cent of the work completed, the Abu Dhabi General Services (Musanada) announced on Saturday.
Being built at a cost of Dh2.1 billion, the expressway will help divert the bulk of the traffic from Shaikh Zayed Road, which is currently the only major road link between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and northern emirates.
The eight-lane, 62-kilometre highway is an extension of Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, which currently ends at Seih Shuaib Area at the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border. The other major highway that links Dubai with the northern emirates also ends at Seih Shuaib.
Set to be ready by the end of next year, the road will help motorists heading to Sharjah and the northern emirates avoid traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road and other roads in Dubai. It also provides direct access to the eastern cities of Fujairah, Kalba and Khor Fakkan.
Apart from easing congestion on the main traffic artery between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the project will also reduce the number of accidents as well as save costs caused by traffic jams and time lost in snarls.
Passing through Al Maha Forest, Kizad, Al Ajban Road, Zayed Military City to Sweihan Road, the new highway includes six bridges and six underground passes.
It passes Ghantoot and heads south towards the new Khalifa Port in Kizad.
The project, which is being developed in collaboration with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT), is set for completion in the fourth quarter of 2017, and extends from Seih Shuaib area to Sweihan Road (E20).
The road will also have an exit to connect vehicles to the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Road (E22).
Around 54 per cent of phase one of the project has been completed, while in phase two 66 per cent has been completed, a statement from Musanada said.
The company added that it was committed to delivering the project on time and that it was progressing according to plan.
The first phase spans 34 kilometres and includes three intersections, while the second phase spans 28 kilometres and also includes three intersections. The project will also see underpasses to ease traffic.
DoT said the project, which has a capacity of up to 7,000 vehicles per hour, aims to reduce congestion and accidents on the current E11 Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road.
It also aims to serve industrial areas like Khalifa Port and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), and boost connectivity between Abu Dhabi and other emirates, namely, Dubai and the northern emirates.
In 2013, when Musanada announced details of the project, the company said it had signed contracts with Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting Establishment (for phase one), Tristar Engineering and Constructions (for phase two), and Abu Dhabi Salini Construttori.
Ghantoot Transport had agreed to implement the first phase of the project at a cost of Dh1.3 billion, while the second phase was set at an approximate cost of Dh840 million.
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