Al Wahda Road Project, United Arab Emirates
The Al Wahda Road project in the emirate city of Sharjah upgraded Al Wahda Street into a double-deck expressway. The project has eased congestion on the street, which receives over 110,000 vehicles a day.
The project revamped the 6km-long road, which includes four interchanges: Cultural Square, Shaikh Humaid Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Square (Flying Saucer Roundabout), Yarmook junction and Abu Shagara. The junctions and roundabouts of the new Al Wahda road have flyovers, tunnels and bridges.
In 2006, the project cost was estimated to be AED477m ($130m). By 2009, the total estimated cost of the project escalated to AED890m.
By August 2009, the first phase of the project, including the underpass at Cultural Square and the Flying Saucer junction, were completed and opened to public.
The first phase was completed six days ahead of deadline. The final phase of the project was completed in August 2010.
Al Wahda Road project
The project was executed in three phases: Cultural Square underpass, Flying Saucer Roundabout and Abu Shagara bridge.
The Cultural Square Interchange consists of an underpass below the Cultural Square roundabout. The underpass allows the movement of traffic to and from the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Al Qassimi Road.
The second phase is the Flying Saucer junction, which includes a 550m-long viaduct.
The third phase is the Abu Shagara Interchange, which consists of a 1.8km double-deck bridge between King Faisal Interchange and the Gold Centre intersection leading to the airport road.
The elevated part of the deck has two lanes in each direction and allows free flow of traffic along Al Wahda street by-passing the Abu Shagara and the Gold Centre intersection. The completed bridge was opened to public in May 2010.
Another part of the road passes over the Flying Saucer roundabout bypassing the junction to reach Al Wahda street.
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Al Wahda Road tunnels
The Cultural Square Interchange includes a tunnel at the Cultural Square. The tunnel has a ramp portion of around 500m on either side and is closed for 175m.
In 2006, Sharjah's Directorate of Public Works assigned a contract to develop the road to Halcrow, an international infrastructure development company. The biggest challenge for Halcrow was to relocate major utilities on the corridor and divert traffic.
Al Wahda Road project construction
As part of the project's construction, Halcrow had to create alternative traffic routes and divert major utilities before closing Al Wahda Street. Utilities such as water pumping mains, 132KV cables and 30in gas pipelines were moved to the site. Halcrow improved the junctions and roundabouts and widened about 20km of road to enable an easier flow of traffic.
Upgradation began in 2007. To commence further works, the street between Al Falah Plaza and Cultural Square was closed during 2008.
In 2009, the Cultural Square Interchange and the Flying Saucer junction were converted into a tunnel and a bridge and were opened for public use.
The remaining portion of the project including the construction of a viaduct and underpass at the Abu Shagara bridge and the Yarmook junction, was completed by August 2010.