The longest of the tunnels is 2.7km, making it the longest in the Middle East.- Wam
A new highway project that will slash the travel time between Sharjah and Khor Fakkan by half was launched on Saturday. Once complete, the 89-km Khor Fakkan Road Project will reduce travel time from the current one and a half hours to 45 minutes.
Five tunnels that cut through the Hajar Mountains along the road have been opened as part of the first phase of the project. The longest of the tunnels is 2.7km, making it the longest in the Middle East.
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the project on Saturday morning. He also inaugurated the picturesque Al Rafisah Dam Rest Area.
The Dh5.5 billion project will connect Khor Fakkan city directly to Sharjah and contribute to the economic development of the adjacent areas.
New tunnels to reduce Sharjah-Khor Fakkan travel time to 45 minutes
During the inauguration of the project, Dr Sheikh Sultan recounted the difficulties they faced in building the road. “There was reluctance from the construction companies to implement the project due to the ruggedness of the terrain and difficulty of establishing tunnels through the mountains. Engineers said the project was impossible.
“After a two-year study, when engineers studied the area from all the sides, we began the project.”
The first section of the project extends for 65km and has six intersections and eight lower passageways. Central metal barriers will reduce the amount of sand blowing over to the road and fences along the sides will prevent animals from straying on to the highway.
The second section of the road extends for a distance of 24km and consists of five tunnels. Al Sidra tunnel measures 2.7km, Al Saqab tunnel 1.4km, Al Rogh tunnel 1.3km, Al Ghazeer tunnel 0.9km, and Al Sahah tunnel 0.3km,
The road passes through different natural settings, giving an opportunity for motorists to take in some fabulous sights as they drive. Dr Sheikh Sultan has directed the authorities concerned to preserve natural and historical areas along the road.