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1.5km Dubai airport tunnel project gets under way

DUBAI - Dubai Municipality began yesterday work on one of the longest and widest tunnels in the Middle East which is part of a new Dh686 million road network project around Dubai International Airport and will serve the traffic flow in view of the massive airport expansion.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 1 Apr 2003, 12:14 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:53 PM

The project forms part of the municipality's plans to improve traffic conditions in the city, which is emerging as the region's air travel hub.

Qassim Sultan, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said that a 1.5km tunnel, longer than the Al Shindagha Tunnel, would run beneath Dubai International Airport. "All roads around the airport will be linked together in the near future to cope with the massive airport expansion plans that are in the offing, given the volume of traffic that such expansion could spawn," said Mr Sultan.

The number of people using the airport is projected to reach 42 million by 2020 as against 13 million in 2000. The tunnel will have four lanes in either direction, shoulders, and pavements which will ease traffic flow in and around the airport.

The 1.5km tunnel, to be constructed over a two-year period, would be part of a road network with shorter tunnels, Mr Sultan said. In addition to the road and tunnel projects, expansion work at the airport is going smoothly, while a study is being carried out to assess the effects of the runway extension on the roads in Al Rashidiya area, he added.

"A committee, which includes senior officials from the municipality and those from the Department of Civil Aviation and the Roads Department, is finalising the studies," he said, adding that the committee planed to construct a comprehensive road network to serve the arrival and departure areas of the airport, and to help reduce traffic in the area.

In order to avoid traffic congestion in the area, which will result from the airport expansion work, new interchanges and shorter tunnels are also being built. The main tunnel will replace Rashidiya Road, while part of the road that connects the interchanges in Al Rashidiya and Al Twar from Beirut Road will be demolished because of the expansion of airport runway. A tunnel that will connect Nad Al Hamr Road near the Airport Expo in Al Twar area will replace the demolished part of the road.

The tunnel, which will pass under the airport runway, will be a key landmark of Dubai, Mr Sultan noted, adding that it will follow international road safety and security standards. A part of the project includes a new interchange near Terminal 1 to ease traffic on Al Rashidiya Road and Al Khawaneej, he said.

Seven smaller tunnels will be constructed to give smoother access to the yet to be constructed Terminal 3. A new interchange will be constructed on Al Garhoud Road to ease traffic from Cargo Village, while there will be a free-flow interchange to connect Al Rashidiya area with Al Qusais area.

The project also includes the construction of road signals, landscaping, street lighting, and irrigation and drainage system. Utilities related to tunnel safety include fire detection and alarm system, variable message sign, carbon monoxide and smoke ventilation system and a closed circuit television system.

There will be entrance and exit points connected to the new multi-storey parking lot, which will be part of Terminal 3, and used exclusively by Emirate airline.

Mr Sultan explained that the project would be undertaken in five phases.

Meanwhile, the municipality is also looking into the feasibility of linking roads around the airport, such as Al Ittihad Road, Al Rashidiya Road, Al Nahda Road, Al Twar Road and the Airport Road.

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