Khalifa Bridge and Shahama-Saadiyat Highway launched as the new Gateway to UAE’s Capital

Published October 14th, 2009 - 04:25 GMT

In line with the urban development objectives specified by the landmark Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Abu Dhabi marked a major milestone in its infrastructure progress this morning as the newly built 10-lane Sheikh Khalifa Bridge on Saadiyat Island was launched, and a 27-kilometre expressway was opened in an official inauguration ceremony held under the auspices of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The unveiling of the 1.4-kilometre-long bridge, which connects Saadiyat Island to Abu Dhabi for the first time, was named after His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, in recognition of his vision towards propelling Abu Dhabi to become a leading global capital of the world in accordance with the Vision 2030 mandate for the overall urban development of the Emirate.
The event also celebrated the launch of the newly constructed 10-lane expressway, which stretches from Port Zayed on the Abu Dhabi mainland to the Shahama District, passing through Saadiyat and Yas islands. The 27 Kilometres state of the art expressway is now open to the public.

The Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, which will now serve as the new gateway into Abu Dhabi, is part of major infrastructure works on Saadiyat Island, which is being developed by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), a master developer of cultural, residential and tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), expressed his gratitude towards the UAE’s visionary leadership in successfully driving Abu Dhabi’s developments. “We are honoured by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the unflagging support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in transforming Abu Dhabi into a leading international destination. The Sheikh Khalifa Bridge highlights a major achievement in the progress of Abu Dhabi as Saadiyat Island is set to become one of the world’s leading destinations. As we anticipate large numbers of visitors with the upcoming opening of distinctive museums and other highly prominent tourism attractions on Saadiyat and we are certain that the bridge and expressway will be pivotal to its success,” said Sheikh Sultan.
Abu Dhabi-based development company Aldar Properties, constructed the majority part of the expressway, which continues to its Yas Island development.  The expressway will serve as one of Yas’ many transport systems to ensure efficient access on and between the islands and the mainland.
Speaking at the launch, Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of Aldar, said:
“This infrastructure project is central to our commitment to contribute to the development of the Emirate as set out in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. I would like to salute the concerted efforts of all the parties concerned without which the project could not have been accomplished. The spirit of teamwork exhibited by all parties has been inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the guidance of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.”
The visionary Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, which has been developed by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi’s urban environment, has been the key guideline framework for the development of the newly inaugurated Sheikh Khalifa Bridge.
“The Shahama Saadiyat highway development, which is in line with the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 guiding principles, is a clear testament of our commitment to implement benchmark urban infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi. The development of this highway bridge is only a prelude to the soon to be unveiled Shahama and Bahia revitalisation plan”, said H.E Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).
“The new bridge development will not only provide seamless connectivity to communities around Abu Dhabi but will also signify the overall development vision of the leadership of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi” added Al Ahbabi.
UPC’s Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 recognises the importance of transport in shaping the future of the metropolitan area, and with this understanding in view; the Surface Transport Masterplan (STMP) was created by the Department of transport (DOT) to translate into reality the broad principles and concepts outlined for the transport sector in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030.
Eng. Faisal Ahmed Al Suwaidi, General Director, Highways for the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi said: “The timely completion of this highly vital and strategic project bears witness to the commitment of all parties involved to achieve its set-for goals; to make Abu Dhabi’s transport infrastructure world-class while helping raise the prolife of both the economic and urban environment of the Emirate in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and its strategic objectives.”
Emphasizing the vital importance of this project, Eng. Al Suwaidi added: “This project will bolster the public-private partnership, given the great deal of coordination and cooperation DoT has seen amongst all parties involved. The DoT applied international technical specifications and carried technical assessments during all implementation stages of the project. The remarkable collaboration yielded a unified and proactive approach to overcome all challenges and to achieve the project on time.” 
Sheikh Khalifa Bridge is one of the largest infrastructure developments in Abu Dhabi, which has been constructed using approximately 15,000 tons of asphalt, 15,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel. More than 1,300 people and a total of more than 7.5 million man hours were dedicated to the timely completion of the bridge and the expressway, work on which commenced in December 2006 and December 2008 respectively..


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