Emirate also celebrates completion of 27km, 10-lane expressway

A 1.4km-long bridge linking Saadiyat Island to Abu Dhabi for the first time has opened. Sheikh Khalifa Bridge is one of the largest infrastructure developments in the emirate.

A new 27km-long, 10-lane expressway has also been opened for public use, linking Port Zayed on the Abu Dhabi mainland to the Shahama district. Both projects were developed by the Abu Dhabi tourist board, TDIC.

A workforce of more than 1,300 people and a total of 7.5 million man-hours went into the two schemes. Construction of the bridge began in December 2006 and of the expressway in December 2008.

Construction of the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, which is named after UAE president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, required around 15,000 tonnes of asphalt and 15,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel.

The development of Saadiyat Island is part of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, which aims to turn the emirate into a “leading global capital of the world”. The island will feature a cultural district including offshoots of the Louvre and the Guggenheim designed by various big-name architects.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, is expected for completion in 2013 and construction on the Guggenheim by Frank Gehry began in May this year. Foster + Partners is designing the Sheikh Zayed Museum, which will exhibit items from the British Museum on loan for 10 years.