(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A new environmentally-friendly highway has opened in the Mafraq-Ghuwaifat area against Dh5.3 billion. It "is considered one of the most important projects in Abu Dhabi", according to officials.
The highway will ease traffic, particularly for heavy trucks and buses, as well as help increase traffic movement between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, officials told Khaleej Times on Sunday.
"We had to consider many criteria - congestion, safety and bad weather - because the roads often sink in some areas due to water accumulation and absence of proper drainage systems," said Khalid Ismail Al Zoubi, project manager, Musadana.
Musadana kicked-off the expansion project back in March 2014, under the supervision of the Department of Transport, with more than 8,500 engineers and labourers worked on the project. The new 246km-long highway, extends from Mafraq to Ghuwaifat at the Saudi Arabian border.
Al Zoubi pointed out that the highway is weather efficient and sustainable, lit with LED lights - achieving a minimum of 60 per cent drop in energy consumption. The current asphalt level has been raised in various sections along the highway, in order to curb impacts of water ponds and also helping drain rainwater.
Naser Al Marzouqi, main roads construction engineer, DoT, said the total length of the highway including the old road now stands at a total of 327km.
The project comprised a total of six packages spanning the construction of 16 new upper interchanges. The works also included basic improvements to the existing interchanges at Mafraq, Hameem, Abu Al Abyad and Madinat Zayed interchanges, as well as major improvements to existing interchanges.
The project also included the expansion of roads from two to four lanes in each direction along the 182 km-long section, stretching from Mafraq until Baynounah Forest area, and from two to three lanes along the 65 km-long section from Baraka to Ghuwaifat.