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Sat 19 Jul 2008 06:12 PM

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Work begins on Mideast's longest tunnel

3km road tunnel being build in Abu Dhabi to divert traffic away from city's congested centre.

Construction has begun in Abu Dhabi on what will likely be the Middle East’s longest road tunnel, stretching three kilometres under the UAE capital.

The tunnel will run 15 metres underground below Al Salam Street from Abu Dhabi’s northeast entrance to near Port Zayed and is expected to divert a significant amount of traffic from the congested city centre.

The tunnel, which is expected to be finished in 2011, will have four lanes in each direction and include state-of-the-art safety, monitoring and control systems, UAE daily Emirates Business 24/7 reported on Friday, citing Abu Dhabi Municipality Director-General Jumma Al-Junaibi.

It is part of a 3 billion-dirham ($816.8 million) infrastructure project that also includes construction of a 500-metre flyover connecting the city to Reem Island, which is undergoing extensive redevelopment.

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