Abu Dhabi: Work on the Al Maqta area and Abu Dhabi Gate City project commenced on Saturday, the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi announced.

Under this initiative, two exits on the Khaleej Al Arabi Street as well as two roundabouts in both areas will be built in a bid to increase traffic safety and flow on Khaleej Al Arabi Street.

The project will be done in two steps: the first will encompass the construction of an exit from Khaleej Al Arabi Street as well as a roundabout to facilitate traffic to and from Al Maqta area, while the second step will see the creation of another roundabout and an exit to Khaleej Al Arabi Street in Abu Dhabi Gate City.

At the same time, the current exits linking Khaleej Al Arabi Street with both areas will ensure safer and less traffic in the area’s entrances and exits causing less congestion, especially during peak hours.

Previously known as ‘Between the Two Bridges’, the Al Maqta area is currently one of Abu Dhabi’s key regions and home of some of the city’s leading tourism, culture and urban landmarks such as the historical Al Maqta Castle, Al Maqta Bridge as well as the Shaikh Zayed Bridge.

Stressing the role this development project plays in optimising Abu Dhabi’s transport infrastructure while helping provide an integrated and safer road network, General Director of Main Roads at the Department, Eng Faisal Ahmad Al Suwaidi, said: “Al Maqta Area and Abu Dhabi Gate City project, once completed, will allow motorists a wide spectrum of benefits such as smoother and better traffic, less congestion and higher safety standards.”

“The Department has undertaken several studies to guarantee that the best possible approaches are adopted in order to preserve the area’s aesthetic and cultural landmarks whilst traffic is maintained unaffected during the whole duration of work. The implementation of the project in different phases ensures that neither traffic congestion nor road detouring is needed,” he added.

The Al Maqta Area and Abu Dhabi Gate City project is being implemented by the department in close cooperation with a number of partners including Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Abu Dhabi Sewage Service Company, and Traffic Control Centre.

The first phase of the project, Al Maqta Area enhancements, is planned to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.