ABU DHABI // The municipality is planning ways to deal with emergencies inside the long-awaited Salam Street tunnel when it opens.
The 3.1-kilometre tunnel between Mina Road and Al Falah Street will be "opened for vehicles shortly," the municipality said in a news release yesterday, although no date was set.
However, municipal officials recently held a meeting in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Police and other agencies to discuss ways to make the tunnel safer, and how to respond to car accidents or other emergencies inside it.
They recommended that the speed limit inside the tunnel be set between 60kph and 80kph. They also recommended banning heavy vehicles and lorries from the tunnel. Finally, they approved a set of workshops to train emergency responders on the use of emergency exits, surveillance and fire-fighting devices inside the tunnel.
The tunnel will go through a "trial period" before it officially opens to make sure the systems and safety provisions work well.
The tunnel is the last step of the multi-phase Salam Street redevelopment project, which began in 2007. Officials have announced delays to the date the project will be finished on a number of occasions.
When the tunnel is completed, drivers will be able to travel the full length of Abu Dhabi island without passing through traffic signals, easing traffic pressure on main streets in the city centre.