UAE opens Sheikh Khalifa bridge in Swat valley, PK

UAE-funded road infrastructure projects brings relief to flood victims

The 330m span bridge will resist erosion, rust, humidity and natural disasters to outlive its 40-yr-old predecessor.
The 330m span bridge will resist erosion, rust, humidity and natural disasters to outlive its 40-yr-old predecessor.

The UAE-funded $12.6m Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed bridge, so-called after the UAE’s president, has been inaugurated in a ceremony at the project in its Swat Valley surround in Pakistan.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, Abdullah Khalifa Al Gafli, director for the UAE Pakistan Assistance Program, and a number of other senior Pakistani officials.

“The new bridge, which accommodates more than 5000 vehicles a day, will serve 70,000 people in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province north-west of Pakistan,” said Al Ghafli.

The bridge has a 330 metre span and is 10 metres wide and 6 meters high, with its foundation stone laid in December 2010, after its 40-yr-old predecessor was destroyed by Pakistan’s devastating floods.

“What we are witnessing today, in the achievement of this UAE project to help Pakistan, is the result of continuous efforts across months of planning and coordination between the Pakistani government authorities, civilians and project management,” said Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Noaimi, UAE ambassador to Pakistan.

The highest internationally recognized architectural and technical standards and specifications were used in construction of the project, and special anti-erosion, anti-rust and humidity-resistant concrete was used to build the earthquake and flood resistant structure.

Al Noaimi said that the bridge is part of a wider package of infrastructure projects, which are being carried out in Pakistan by the UAE and funded by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan foundation for humanitarian works, aimed at improving the living standards across the Khyber Pakhtoon Kha.

All metal components of the structure, which also has a solar powered lighting system, were manufactured in the UK.



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