Home / NEWS / Sharjah roads and tunnels project hits milestone

Sharjah roads and tunnels project hits milestone

by Yamurai Zendera on Feb 14, 2014

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The $650mn Shis to Khorfakkan road and tunnels project for Sharjah, which includes the UAE’s second longest tunnel at 2.6km, is moving apace, a project manager has said.

The project consists of a 23.2km dual carriageway road skirting the edge of the Omani border through mountainous terrain. The road also passes through five rock tunnels totalling 13km.

Bought by CH2M Hill in 2011, Halcrow, working closely with Sharjah’s ruler, HE Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, developed a multitude of alignment options and designs to directly connect the port city of Khorfakkan through the Hajar mountains with Sharjah central regions and Sharjah city.

Halcrow project manager Chris Parsons said work was progressing well on the second of the five rock tunnels, which measures 0.9km.

"For the tunneling works on the Khorfakkan side the contractor is about 150m into the westbound tunnel now. Things are progressing pretty quick on that side," he said. "The same contractor is about 60m in from the eastbound tube.

"They've got all their equipment there, they're doing daily blasts in the order of about three and half metres, so they're chomping at the bit, moving it all forward."   

Tunnel 1 is scheduled to be finished in 2015 and the entire project 2019. 

In October 2009 the project blasted its way into the record books when the team achieved its first of two tunnel breakthroughs – and in turn created the UAE’s longest rock tunnel – a 1.3km twin bore hole through the mountain called the Diftah-Shis Tunnel, with associated 18km road link to the existing Masafi to Fujairah Highway. Breakthrough of the second tube occurred in November of the same year.