New 62km Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway opens

Authorities hope new route will ease traffic congestion on existing roads

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An alternative route to the existing highway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has been opened, with authorities hoping that it will help ease traffic congestion on the route.

Known as the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Road, the 62km road connects to the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road on Route E311. Built as an alternative to the current highway (E11), officials from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT) said that the road could ease congestion on the E11, especially during peak hours.

The new road consists of four lanes in each direction, with a total of eight lanes. Constructed at a cost of $571.7 million, the project was developed by Musanada, a government-backed firm that provides construction, contracting and facilities management services to public entities.

“The highway can carry a total of 8,000 vehicles per hour. It includes six interchanges and six underpasses to ease the flow of traffic. And while there are no petrol stations along the stretch yet, two stations, one for either side of the road, are being constructed. They should be open by the third quarter of 2017,” said Shamsa Al Shamsi, project manager at Musanada.

Beginning from Sweihan Interchange on the Abu Dhabi-Sweihan Road, the route extends through to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai border near Seih Shuaib. In the outbound direction of the capital, the highway passes by Al Maha Forest, the Forestry Green Belt, KIZAD, Abu Mureikha and the Zayed Militiary Camp, linking up with Mohammad Bin Zayed near Seih Shueib.

The 62km length of the route will be lit by 2,000 lighting poles, while the hard shoulders of the road are three metres wide. Six lay-bys have been designed to be used as patrol points for police, ambulance and other emergency services.

Emergency response vehicles will also be able to manoeuvre at five points along the road. The highway also has the capacity to be expanded in the future, with two additional lanes on either side.

“We also hope to connect the highway from its current starting point in Al Falah area to the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Road,” a DMAT official added.

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