One of the Middle East's longest road tunnels has been opened to motorists in Abu Dhabi, according to a report.
Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, National Security Advisor and Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated the 4.2 kilometre 'Zayed Street Tunnel'.
"From around 4am on Wednesday, motorists can use the tunnel outbound from and into Abu Dhabi city. We expect this opening will make a big difference to traffic congestion in the city, and will greatly reduce travel times," Abdulla Saeed Al Shamsi, executive director of infrastructure in Abu Dhabi City, told Gulf News.
According to the report, the tunnel begins on Dalma Street, and allows motorists to travel uninterrupted to the Corniche area and Mina Port. It also includes a 2.4-kilometre enclosed section.
The speed limit at the entrance of the tunnel, unofficially known as Main Tunnel, is a maximum of 60 kilometres per hour, and 80 kilometres per hour in certain sections, the report said.
"At present, about 7,000 vehicles travel through Salam Street during the peak hours between 7am and 9am, and 3pm and 5pm.We expect that about 20 per cent of this traffic will now use the tunnel," said Majid Al Kthairy, head of traffic services at the municipality.
However, not all kinds of vehicles can travel through the tunnel, the report added.
"Bicycles, pedestrians, trucks weighing more than 2.5 tonnes or above 5.5 metres in height, as well as vehicles carrying gas cylinders and hazardous materials, are not allowed into the tunnel," he added. (ANI)