Abu Dhabi: Major road projects, including the upgrade of the international highway and reconstruction of the Mafraq interchange, will have a huge impact on Abu Dhabi mainland, a senior official told Gulf News.
The projects will shift the focus from the city and will take development all over the emirate, in accordance with the 2030 plan of Abu Dhabi Government, said Abdullah Al Shamsi, Director of Roads and Infrastructure at Abu Dhabi Municipality, in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.
The projects will support all upcoming developmental activity on the mainland, especially in Al Gharbia (the Western Region) which will attract large numbers of people to settle there, he said.
The projects will transform Abu Dhabi into "Greater Abu Dhabi" as envisaged in Abu Dhabi government's 2030 plan.
Al Gharbia has a population of 120,000. Abu Dhabi government has earmarked Dh98 billion for infrastructure, tourism and economic development projects in the region.
Al Gharbia comprises seven main cities: Madinat Zayed, Mirfa, Liwa, Ghayathi, Sila, Ruwais and Dalma Island, and is close to the borders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Mafraq Interchange, about 30 kilometres from Abu Dhabi City is a gateway for motorists from Dubai and Al Ain to Al Gharbia (Western Region). When the reconstruction is completed, three levels of the project, main roads, a bridge and two flyovers will smooth traffic flow said Al Shamsi.
The existing road to Al Ain will be widened as part of the project. Traffic towards Mafraq Hospital, Baniyas, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed City and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed City will also be improved. A more than Dh753,767,195 project started in March 2008, will be completed in March 2010.
Upgrading the international highway from Mafraq to Al Guweifat on the Abu Dhabi-Saudi border will improve the movement of people and goods from neighbouring countries to the UAE.
About 330 kilometres of road will be upgraded in four phase at a cost of Dh9.5 billion to be completed by 2011. The road will start with three lanes from the border (Al Guwaifat to Al Ruwais ) but will be widened with four lanes (from Al Ruwais to Mafraq).
A Dh651,312,549 project will support the industrial city in Mafraq. The construction of a a 38 kilometre road will start this month and is to be completed within 300 days.
The creation of a 7.1km dual carriageway on Al Fayah Road near Al Khatim will support the Industrial Cities of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) and help attract more investment and important industrial projects.
A Dh539,103,925 project for an 18 kilometre dual carriageway between Baniyas East and Al Heelieh Road will support the new cities being developed in the area. Those cities will attract people from other congested cities.
This project will also help to distribute the population to the mainland. The project will be started soon and will be completed within 550 days.
The Ghayathi-Madinat Zayed Road Construction will link the two towns. The Dh450,340,000 project started in March 2008 and will be completed by March 2010 . It will give better connectivity between the towns of Al Gharbia.
The Al Ruwais road will link the Al Ruwais industrial area to the residential area and Al Ruwais town which will be linked to the international highway. The project was started in May 2007 and will be completed by the end of 2009.