Muscat: The new Al Sharqiyah Expressway will be open to traffic next month, Oman’s Ministry of Transport has announced.
“On January 20, 2020 Al Sharqiyah Expressway will open for traffic for a 191km portion starting from Bidbid, then passing through the Al Aqq area before ending at Al Kamil and Al Wafi,” the Ministry of Transport announced in a statement.
The Ministry added, “The road will be under a test period of 3 months, starting from the opening date, where only light vehicles will be allowed to use this part. Keeping in mind the safety of motorists, when the trial period ends all heavy vehicles will be allowed to use the road, except those loaded with petrochemicals and dangerous materials.”
Work on the expressway had continued throughout 2019, with the tunnels that were built as part of the route having reached 80 percent completion last May. These tunnels had also been inspected by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, the Minister of Transport.
“80 per cent of the tunnels in the Sharqiyah Expressway have been completed,” the Ministry of Transport had previously said. “As for Nidab Tunnel, civil work and testing has been completed. Currently, electro-mechanic work and electrical work is being executed, as well as fire hazard and automation control work. The tunnels that are between 30-90 metres long have been fully completed.”
A special construction system was used for the first time in Oman to complete the bridges, which included using special cranes for bridge construction work, carrying units as heavy as 100 tonnes. Furthermore, 90,000 cubic metres of concrete were used in the bridges, in addition to 15,000 tonnes of iron.