ABU DHABI // The new 62-kilometre motorway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai was opened to traffic on Tuesday, and was named in honour of the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
The Dh2.1 billion Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Road will share traffic with Sheikh Zayed Road to ease congestion between the two cities.
It begins where Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road ends in Seih Shuaib, on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border, and has a capacity for 8,000 vehicles an hour with four lanes in each direction.
"The road is one of the biggest and most important infrastructure projects implemented by the Abu Dhabi Government under the Surface Transport Master Plan," said Falah Al Ahbabi, director general of Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council.
"As a strategic artery it can absorb additional traffic, especially during peak hours, providing an alternative to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.
"The new highway will alleviate traffic congestion and bring down the number of accidents."
The motorway passes through the green belt at Al Maha forest, Khalifa Port Industrial Zone and Bida Khalifa.
It intersects with Al Ajban Road and bypasses Shahama, Zayed Military Camp and Al Falah, all the way to the Sweihan Road interchange.
It also directly links to Yas Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi airport and Al Ain Road. There will be two new petrol stations, one on each side, between interchanges one and two.
It is believed the highway will aid the development of new residential areas such as South Al Shamkha, North Al Wathba and Al Falah.
Shamsa Al Shamsi, project manager, said about 3,500 people worked on the road from the start of 2014.