Sharjah creates UAE's longest rock tunnel
Sharjah, October 5, 2009
Sharjah’s Diftah – Shis highway, that will link the port of Khor Fakkan on the east coast of Sharjah to Diftah in the central region, blasted its way into the local record books this week with the creation of the UAE’s longest rock tunnel.
Halcrow, a UK-based consultancy firm which specialises in the provision of professional planning, design and management services for infrastructure development worldwide, supervised the whole operation.
As consultant to the Government of Sharjah, Directorate of Public Works, Halcrow is responsible for the design and supervision of the road tunnel – involving the construction of 9 km of dual two-lane carriageway mountain road; 1.3km twin bore tunnel and a 1km link road.
With this, the project team has achieved their first of two tunnel breakthroughs, Halcrow said in a statement. A second tunnel breakthrough is scheduled for early November, it added.
Passing through some of the highest and steepest ranges of the Hajar Mountains, the project forms a strategic road link – enabling goods shipped to the port of Khor Fakkan to be distributed throughout the UAE.
The tunnel has been blasted through the rock using explosives, and using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM), which involves stabilisation of the tunnel with rock bolts and spray concrete (shotcrete), before being lined with a waterproof membrane and permanent concrete inner shell, the company said.-TradeArabia News Service