Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi now has a new 11-kilometre bridge to connect Al Reem and Umm Yifeenah Islands to Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street in the capital.
Billed as a "superhighway" that will allow for rapid trans-city travel, the bridge is set to reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of life in the capital.
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurated the bridge on Thursday.
Six-lane highway, with walking/cycling paths
The six-lane highway has walking and cycling paths alongside, and as part of the infrastructure project, developers Aldar and the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) have set up bike rental facilities. The highway can accommodate 6,000 journeys per hour in each direction (12,000 per hour in total).
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed was accompanied by Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, DMT chairman, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and chairman of Aldar, Saif Seed Ghobash, secretary general of the Executive Council, and Talal Al Dhiyebi, Aldar group chief executive officer.
The Umm Yifeenah Bridge is the first phase of the Mid-Island Parkway project that is currently under design. It will ultimately link Al Reem Island and Saadiyat Island, Al Raha Beach and Khalifa City.
The larger network is planned for completion by 2028, and is being designed to include cycle tracks, walking trails and sustainable landscapes that will provide vistas of the natural environment of the area and Abu Dhabi’s skyline.
“We are proud to complete this landmark project, which reflects the leadership’s vision to provide world-class infrastructure, enhance community welfare, and offer a business-friendly environment that ensures the best possible quality of life for the emirate’s citizens, residents and visitors,” Al Shorafa said.
Following the opening of the bridge, there are five bridges that connect the eastern side of Abu Dhabi island to other islands like Al Reem, Al Maryah and Umm Yifeenah. These islands are closer to Abu Dhabi island, which houses the downtown section of the capital city, with Saadiyat Island, Jubail Island and Yas Island lying further beyond.
DMT and Aldar have implemented a number of sustainability measures to preserve the natural environment in the area surrounding the project, including the use of precast concrete elements and arch-shaped causeways to ensure water flow and minimise adverse impact on mangrove wetlands.
"The arched causeway also maintains navigation channels for boats and allows fish and other marine animals to pass freely. Mangrove trees were also planted on nearby Jubail Island. The company sourced 85 per cent of materials locally, as part of its commitment to adding value to the local economy.
“Umm Yifeenah Bridge is another flagship project in the company’s urban development portfolio. It embodies our leadership’s aspirations to provide world-class infrastructure projects and services in Abu Dhabi. We are proud of the role the company has played in delivering this vital project, by capitalising on vast expertise in constructing vital and sustainable projects.
"As a strategic Abu Dhabi Government partner, Aldar remains committed to supporting urban planning efforts and will continue to work with its partners in the public sector to advance sustainable development and quality of life in the emirate,” Al Dhiyebi added.