ABU DHABI // After nearly four years and 27 million hours of work, the first phase of the completed Salam Street redevelopment project will open to traffic on Friday.
The section of road, from the junction at Hamdan Street to the junction at Al Falah Street, will open in both directions to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The opening of this phase of the project is part of a gradual unveiling for the Dh5 billion project, which began in October 2007.
The redevelopment is expected to be fully completed in the first quarter of 2012.
The newly opened section of Salam Street will include 740 parking spaces, 50 traffic signal poles fitted with 206 light heads and 120 street lights.
The completion of the redevelopment project, which will include a 3.1-kilometre tunnel from Mina Road to Al Falah Street, was delayed from its expected July completement by "dense underground utilities networks, as well as a large volume of vehicular traffic on a daily basis", a municipality official said last month.
When fully completed, Salam Street will be able to handle 12,000 vehicles per hour in both directions and will offer a lane that will allow traffic to drive uninterrupted from Sheikh Zayed Bridge to Mina Port.
Most recent traffic counts show inbound traffic is approximately 7,000 vehicles during morning hours and outbound traffic is about 5,600 vehicles, more than double the road's usage before construction began. The municipality estimates about 126,000 vehicles will use the road each weekday.
The municipality said the project will keep traffic flowing, which minimises vehicle emissions. The signals also use technology that reduces power consumption and maintenance.
The municipality asks that motorists heading to the Tourist Club or the port use the existing route. Motorists on Salam Street heading to the port and the Corniche should take the right turn before merging onto Al Falah Street.