Dh2.1bn Abu Dhabi-Dubai road to be completed by 2017

Abu Dhabi is to start construction of the 62 kilometre Abu Dhabi-Dubai main road, better known as E311, which its expected to be completed by 2017.

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ABU DHABI // The emirate is to start building a 62-kilometre Abu Dhabi-Dubai main road, which is expected to be completed by 2017, the Department of Transport announced yesterday.

The Dh2.1 billion project, called E311, will run parallel to the existing Abu Dhabi-Dubai (E11) motorway. It will extend from Mohammed bin Zayed Road in Saih Sheib through Al Maha Forest and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), and will join at the Sweihan Road.

In February last year, the DoT said the project would be executed through two tenders and completed by the end of 2014. No reasons were given yesterday for the change of completion date.

The E311 aims to ease traffic on the E11 as studies have shown that traffic was expected to increase from 700 vehicles an hour at peak time to more than 12,000 vehicles by 2030 as a result of population growth.

It will have four lanes in each direction, plus a hard shoulder and a central reservation. The central reservation will be designed for upgrading and future expansion, if necessary. Six upper junctions will be built, and the lay-bys will be designed for emergency use by light vehicles and heavy lorries and as a patrol point for police, ambulance, and other emergency vehicles.

The new main road will have five U-turn facilities for emergency vehicles only.

It will feature a rainwater drainage system and will have ample lighting that follows sustainable standards of reducing energy consumption.

The DoT is also building the 327km Mafraq-Ghweifat main road, which is also expected to be completed by 2017.

Six consortiums and companies have been contracted by the DoT for the E311 and the Mafraq-Ghweifat main road and the projects are estimated to cost Dh7.4bn.

This follows the approval of the Executive Council at its recent meeting presided over by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

It extends from Mafraq to the international border linking the UAE with Saudi Arabia in Ghweifat. It also passes through the industrial centre in Ruwais and some tourist and commercial locations in Abu Dhabi. Eighty kilometres of the road that links Baynounah Forest – east of Ruwais towards Silaa – was built in 2011.

Four new lanes will be built in each direction from Mafraq to Baraka. When finished, there will be three lanes in each direction, with the road expanding to four lanes in each direction in the 22km closest to the borders with Saudi Arabia, from Silaa to Ghweifat.

The central reservation has been designed to accommodate two future lanes in each direction, if necessary. The project will also see the building of 15 new upper junctions at Mussaffah, Al Dhafra, Icad, Tarif, Al Marfa East and Al Marfa West. Existing junctions in Mafraq, Hamim, Abu Al Abyad, and Madinat Zayed will be modified.

There will be lay-bys in each direction of the Mafraq-Ghweifat main road for light vehicles and heavy lorries, as well as for ambulance, police vehicles, petrol stations and a weigh station.

rruiz@thenational.ae