The $1.7bn Al-Salam Street tunnel project in Abu Dhabi will be fully complete in January 2012.

Three of the project’s packages will be completed by the end of this year, with the fourth set for completion in early 2012, said Ahmed al-Sayari, head of road construction, Abu Dhabi Municipality at MEED’s Roads bridges & tunnels 2010 conference on 22 November.

The 3.1-kilometre tunnel was first devised back in 2002-03 as a way of reducing congestion on Al-Salam street, which was also used by trucks to transport freight to and from Mina Zayed. Once the new tunnel is complete, traffic will be able to move uninterrupted along the corridor between Abu Dhabi International airport, Saadiyat Island, Yas Island and the centre of Abu Dhabi city.

Provisions have also been made for the future development of a mass transit system along the edge of the road, such as a light rail network or a bus system. The project will comprise four lanes running in each direction.

The construction of the project was divided into four contracts.

Contract 1 is the largest contract with a value of AED3.1bn and this involves building the actual tunnel itself. The contractor is a joint venture between South Korea’s Samsung and local Saif bin Darwish. This is scheduled for completion on 20 January 2012.

Local Nurol is the contractor for contract 3 and it has a value of AED760m. This will be completed by the end of 2010. Contract 4 involves widening the road and has a value of AED67m. The contractor is the local Hilalco and this has already been completed. Kuwait’s Mohammed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons General Trading & Contracting is carrying out contract 2, which has a value of AED833m. This is expected to be completed on 27 November 2010.

The contracts were awarded in 2008 (MEED 20:3:08).

Parsons International is the consultant for the project and Abu Dhabi Municipality is the client.