Early 2012 opening set for traffic tunnel

05/09/2011 - Northern Emirates Property & Investment News Posted by Bob Brunskell
Early 2012 opening set for traffic tunnel

The Middle East's longest traffic tunnel has been given an initial opening date of early 2012.Almost 88 per cent of the Dh4.8 billion project has been completed in Abu Dhabi and sections of it will open soon.According to the Abu Dhabi Municipality, traffic will be able to access the Tourist Club, Najda and Hamdan.Completion of the project had been planned for late 2010, but technical problems involving networks of power cables and water pipes led to a delay, Emirates 24/7 reports.Starting in the east of Abu Dhabi, the three-kilometre tunnel will pass under Salam Street towards Port Zayed in the west. It will also link the mainland to Reem Island.Two kilometres of the tunnel will be nearly 15 metres underground and it will have a capacity of 8,000 vehicles over four lanes in each direction.The need for the project comes as the population of Abu Dhabi is set to almost triple in the next 20 years.