Major roadworks have started in a project to widen one of Abu Dhabi’s busiest roads.
The right-hand shoulder on either side of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street, also known as Salam, will be closed until October 1 to allow for the addition of extra lanes, the Department of Transport said.
Construction started at the weekend and parts of the 90s-era Al Qurm Corniche, close to the Anantara Eastern Mangroves hotel, have been dug up to make way for the new lanes.
Al Qurm – the Arabic for mangrove – is a popular leisure spot for residents. The four-kilometre pathway overlooking the mangroves that stretches down from the Anantara hotel is used by walkers, joggers and bikers. Families picnic there under the concrete tent canopies dotted along the road. Food trucks had recently started operating in car parks that stretched down the path.
Many of the car parks have now been closed off, roads dug up and some of the concrete canopies demolished. Several earth-moving machines were active and work was being carried out on both sides of the road.
But the scale of the works has not yet been revealed by the department and it is unclear how much will be left once the works are complete or if the area will be rebuilt. The pathway was still in place on Monday, while a large grass area with barbecue spots close to the dolphin fountains was not affected.
The transport department's integrated transport centre (ITC) at the department announced the move on its Twitter page. "ITC urges road users to drive cautiously and abide by traffic rules and regulations," it said.
The works come amid a broader push to improve traffic flow along the motorway. Authorities recently opened a slipway close to the entrance to Sheikh Zayed tunnel, which gives better access to the Al Zahiyah neighbourhood and Maryah Island. The area has also been made more pedestrian friendly.
A bridge linking the road with Reem Island is also planned. The structure will connect to Sheikh Zayed road before the Anantara hotel and link to Reem Island through Umm Lafina.
Musanada (Abu Dhabi General Services Company) is carrying out the work on behalf of the department. Musanada directed enquiries to the department, which did not respond in time to requests from The National.