The deep-water port is the first semi-automated container port in the Gulf region. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Etihad Rail has hit the 50 per cent stage in the construction of the marine rail bridge, as it works on the second stage of UAE’s national rail network. The marine rail bridge, which extends over 1 kilometres, connects Khalifa Port with the rail network.

“The bridge will play an important role in improving the transportation of goods in the region, reducing the costs of freight and trade,” said Etihad Rail in a statement. It said 18,300 cubic meters (m3) of reinforced concrete and 4,117 tonnes of steel were required for the bridge, which will run parallel to an existing road bridge that connects Abu Dhabi to the offshore container terminal area.


Green project

The company said the construction of the marine bridge was being implemented in line with the “highest environmental standards”. “Etihad Rail is working on maintaining the water flow through ensuring that the extensions and the rubble of the new marine bridge align with the existing bridge, parallel to it,” said the operator. “This guarantees the flow of water, which is an important factor for preserving the coral reefs surrounding the bridge.”

Recently, Etihad Rail announced completing construction for Package A of Stage Two, which extends over 139 kilometres, and its connection through Al Ghuwaifat on the border of Saudi Arabia with Stage One, which extends for 264 km from Habshan to Al Ruwais.

Strategic terminal

Khalifa Port serves over 25 shipping lines, and offers direct links to 70 international destinations. The port will also be the first in the UAE to be linked to the national rail network. It will also serve as a main gateway for KIZAD (Khalifa Industrial Zone), which is set to become the largest industrial city in the region covering an area of nearly 420 square kilometres.

The port, which is located halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, was inaugurated in 2012. The deep-water port is the first semi-automated container port in the Gulf region. In September, AD Ports Group signed an agreement to build a new terminal at Khalifa Port. The terminal, which will be managed by a joint venture owned by France-based CMA and AD Ports Group, will see an investment of about Dh570 million