Road projects worth Dh20 billion are under way in Abu Dhabi, marking a significant upgrade to the emirate’s infrastructure to keep ahead of the rapid growth in population, said the director-general of Abu Dhabi Municipality.
Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi told Emirates Business the new projects are focused on facilitating traffic flow on main arteries into and out of the capital, such as Al Salam Street and Airport Road.
The largest single project in terms of cost will transform Al Salam Street. The Dh3bn to Dh5bn undertaking is made up of four separate construction contracts and will take three years to complete.
A tunnel will be built, comprising four lanes in each direction, to allow non-stop traffic movement along the route. The tunnel starts from Al Mina Street, goes under Al Salam Street and finishes after the junction of Al Salam Street and Al Falah Street.
The tunnel will be able to accommodate 6,000 vehicles per hour, according to Al Junaibi. The contract also includes the construction of additional local roads from Al Salam Street to neighbouring areas as well as the construction of other tunnels linking Corniche Street with Al Salam Street.
The capacity boost of the major roadway is a preemptive move to help it accommodate future population growth and projects due to be constructed on Abu Dhabi Island and neighbouring islands, especially Al Reem Island, he said.
Once the project is completed, residents will be able to travel the length of Al Salam Street without the need to stop at traffic lights.
The second giant project topping Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure development plan is along Corniche Street. The first phase of this project, which has already been completed, included the construction of the new Corniche East Street and the expansion of the old road. Three tunnels were also built to facilitate traffic movement at main junctions. The first phase of the project, Al Junaibi estimated, increased the capacity of the main artery threefold.
The municipality recently started the implementation of the project’s second phase, which includes the development of the western part of Corniche Street in a similar manner to what was done with the eastern area.
Due to the construction, traffic diversions have become a necessary part of life in the capital, Al Junaibi said. However, he said the municipality has co-ordinated with traffic police to minimise disruption for drivers and to avoid bottlenecks.
Abdullah Saeed Al Shamsi, director of roads and infrastructure at Abu Dhabi Municipality, told Emirates Business the infrastructure plan includes more roads within the capital and carries a hefty price tag. “The final cost of under-construction roads goes up to Dh20bn. The figure could rise even more as the prices of building materials increase.”
The largest construction project on an external road, Al Shamsi said, would take place on Abu Dhabi-Al Guwaifat Street. The four-phase retrofit is expected to cost more than Dh4bn. The municipality has also started work on Al Mafraq Road and Bridge with a total cost of Dh725 million. It will be completed in 24 months.
Dh20bn road projects under way in capital