Abu Dhabi: The new Al Mafraq Bridge — which links Abu Dhabi city to Dubai, Al Ain and Al Gharbia (Western Region) — was opened to vehicles on Monday morning and expected to ease inbound and outbound traffic into the capital city.

Only two lanes stretching from Abu Dhabi to Dubai were still closed, and they would be open by the end of this month, an Abu Dhabi Municipality spokesman told Gulf News.

"All the other lanes in the Dh830 million bridge project were opened yesterday," the official said.

The Mafraq Bridge project, which has 27 lanes in both directions, is expected to carry 24,000 vehicles per hour to and from Abu Dhabi. Work began in March 2008 to replace a bridge that is now closed.

Previously, three bridges were opened in phases, including a 75-metre high main bridge comprising four lanes and a shoulder in the Dubai-Al Sila'a direction, and two other smaller bridges: from Abu Dhabi to Al Shahama, and from Al Ain to Al Sila'a.

Several slip roads and loops of the project, covering a combined length of 18km, were also opened.