x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Sheikh Khalifa Bridge opens

Travel around the capital's congested streets receives a major boost today with the opening of a new 10-lane bridge and motorway city bypass.

A view of Sheikh Khalifa Bridge that connects Abu Dhabi Island with Saadiyat and Islands.
A view of Sheikh Khalifa Bridge that connects Abu Dhabi Island with Saadiyat and Islands.

ABU DHABI // Travel around the capital's congested streets received a major boost today with the opening of a new 10-lane bridge and motorway city bypass. The 1.4-kilometre-long bridge, named the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, is designed to ease pressure on the city's often gridlocked roads by allowing motorists to skirt the city. It is the first time a bridge has connected Abu Dhabi Island with Saadiyat and Yas Islands. The new 27-kilometre route allows drivers a high-speed link between Port Zayed, near the Corniche, with the E10 motorway, in the Shahama district. In addition to several hotels and residential complexes, Saadiyat will be home to the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi and is designed to be the cultural centre of the captial. Yas Island is the venue for the Formula One Grand Prix, which will take place on Nov 1, and will be the site of numerous theme parks, golf courses, hotels and shops. The bridge and motorway were opened at a ceremony attended by dignitaries, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The chairman of the Tourism Development and Investment Company, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, spoke of his delight at the completion of the 29-month project before a mosaic of Sheikh Khalifa was unveiled. The opening came as the Sheikh Zayed Bridge, at the southeast end of Abu Dhabi island, came one step closer to completion as engineers lowered into place the last piece of the east arch of the structure. "The Sheikh Khalifa Bridge highlights a major achievement in the progress of Abu Dhabi as Saadiyat Island is set to become one of the world's leading destinations," said Sheikh Sultan. "As we anticipate large numbers of visitors with the upcoming opening of distinctive museums and other highly prominent tourism attractions on Saadiyat and we are certain that the bridge and expressway will be pivotal to its success." chamilton@thenational.ae