Abu Dhabi is seeking contractors to build a second major motorway linking the UAE capital with Dubai.
The Department of Transport has invited contractors to prequalify on the road plans, which could include a short pilot project for a section of "green road" using recycled materials and renewable energy.
The second artery linking the two emirates could provide a much-needed release valve in case of accidents on the main Dubai to Abu Dhabi motorway, such as those in recent years during heavy fog. The motorway is one of a handful of projects for power, oil and gas and transport that have elevated the UAE capital into a major centre of infrastructure development in the GCC in the past three years.
The department said the proposed motorway would connect with the existing Emirates Road at the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and extend to the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Road near Baniyas. It would also connect with the Al Ain lorry route, added the department.
"This will act as a second primary connection between the city of Abu Dhabi and the city of Dubai," the department said in tender documents issued to contractors. It did not disclose the total planned length of the road.
In February, the department appointed Aurecon, a global engineering firm, to carry out project management consultancy work on the new road. The prequalification documents from potential contractors are due in next month. The department then expects to call for construction bids by the third quarter of this year and award contracts by the fourth. The construction will be spread over three phases.
Last month, one person was killed and 61 injured when heavy fog caused a 127-vehicle pile-up, according to police. More than 200 ambulances and emergency response vehicles attended. In March 2008, four motorists were killed and almost 350 injured in a similar fog-induced accident on the same road.