Salam Street will be completed 'by end of the year'

An Abu Dhabi Municipality official has made assurances that the project will be finished on schedule bringing relief for drivers.

ABU DHABI // A city official has made assurances that the Salam Street project will be finished on schedule, by the end of the year. Abu Dhabi Municipality said on Wednesday that after 11 months it had finished widening a major segment of the road, from Street 19 as far as Street 29. The segment of road is at the Maqtaa end of Salam Street, and runs along the coastline.

Abdulla al Shamsi, the acting executive director of the Municipal's infrastructure and assets sector, said the entire Dh5 billion project, including a 3.2km tunnel in the Tourist Club area, was on target. A statement from the Municipality addressed the issue of several lanes still blocked off by traffic cones. "The fourth lane between road 19 and 29 along Al Salam Street will remain closed until the completion of the work along contract two. Both lanes will open simultaneously for safety reasons."

"Contract two" consists of two 850 metre tunnels, beginning from Maqtaa Bridge up to the junction with Street No 31 in the Eastern Ring Road. About 1,000 people are working on this contract, which, officials say, is 86 per cent completed. The city estimates that so far, 16,320 hours of work has been completed on all sections of the project. There are still three sections to be completed: a bridge leading to Al Reem Island; a 3.1km tunnel running from the junction of Hazza Bin Zayed Street to Mina, at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and an 850m tunnel running from the intersection of Al Saada Street to the intersection with Hazza Bin Zayed Road.

More than 3,200 workers have been assigned to these projects. The news will come as a big relief for drivers who have been frustrated by traffic jams which have clogged the area. However, while the work continues, motorists should allow extra time for journeys. Eoin Waldron, 31, an engineer from Ireland, said he regularly experienced severe jams. "I've been over an hour late for meetings, even with time allowed for delays," he said.

"You end up doing massive detours for this. Going across Salam Street, or even near that part of town, has to be avoided if it can."