HH Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, alongside HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has inaugurated the $1.6bn (AED6bn) Sharjah-Khor Fakkan Road, which spans 89km from Emirates Road to Wadi Shi in Khor Fakkan.
The highway, which marks a new phase in the development of infrastructure and tourist facilities in the East Coast City, is expected to reduce travel time from 90 minutes to 45 minutes.
The road is one of the several projects that were launched by Their Highnesses in the presence of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and several other senior-level dignitaries.
Commenting on the launch of the road, Eng Yusuf Saleh Al Suwaiji, chairman of Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) said: “The safety of the road has been ensured through the central metal barriers that prevent sand dunes, along with a high-level safety fence on both sides of the road to prevent the entry of astray camels and animals, in addition to forestation, and fully equipped with street lighting.”
KEY ROUTE POINTS
The 89km road, which passes through deserts, plains, and mountains, comprises of 14 intersections, seven underground crossings, and five tunnels.
In April 2018, Sheikh Sultan had inaugurated the project's five tunnels, which include the 1.3km-long Al Rough Tunnel; the 900m Al Ghazir Tunnel; the 300m Al Saha Tunnel; the 1.3km Al Saqb Tunnel; and the 2.7km Al Sidra Tunnel. The latter is the longest covered, mountain tunnel in the Middle East.
According to data by SRTA, it took 22.8 million man-hours; 2,343 pieces of machinery; 18,502 tonnes (t) of steel; 527,154 t of concrete; and 1.54 million t of asphalt to build Sharjah-Khor Fakkan Road.
Of the 89km, 35km passes through sand dunes; 14km through gravel plain areas; and 40km through rocky mountainous spaces. Accompanying building works also included 64 drainage and three gas culverts; three drainage tunnels; and 10 vehicle underpasses.
KHOR FAKKAN INFRA PROJECTS
Several similar infrastructure projects were launched by HH Sheikh Sultan alongside the road, including Khor Fakkan Sports City, located behind the emirate's Naval Academy.
The Sharjah Ruler also launched Clock Tower, located at the entrance of the Khor Fakkan City. According to UAE state news agency, Wam, the Sharjah Ruler said the structure “will be high enough to be seen from any part of the city”.
Construction work will also commence on Cultural Palace, as well as a tunnel that will link Al Manzel district in Al Mossala area to the mountain. Additionally, HH Sheilkh Sultan said Khor Fakkan University will be built to replace a Sharjah University branch within two years.