The surface transport infrastructure got a new boost as the Al Sharqiyah Expressway was opened to the public on Monday.
The 191-km engineering marvel that runs between Bidbid and Al Kamil W’al Wafi is also Oman’s first tunnel road project.
The first three months will be trial period with only light vehicles allowed to use the expressway. Heavy vehicles except those loaded with petrochemicals and hazardous materials will be allowed to use it gradually.
Each tunnel consists of two separate carriages of three lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 90 km per hour inside the tunnel.
Designed in accordance with the highest international specifications and standards, the road includes two tunnels with a total length of 2.1 km. The first tunnel is located in the village of Nadab in Samayil with a length of 650 m, while the second tunnel is situated amidst the mountain ranges of Al-Aqq with a length of 1,450 m. Outside the tunnel, the speed limit is up to 120 km per hour.
Motorists have been urged to follow the signboards with instructions on speed limits safety measures while entering the tunnels. According to eyewitnesses, motorists have been told to switch on lights as they enter the tunnels.
The project includes bridges over wadis at a height of 90 metres.
Omantel said it is working with the Ministry of Transport and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to provide a communications network, taking into account the safety of the road users.
According to Omantel, “Some mobile tower stations have been installed on the Al Kamil W’al Wafi sector to ensure the availability of communications services at all times for road users, especially during an emergency.”
It added, “the third and fourth generation networks for voice services and mobile broadband services (the Internet) are available due to the facilities provided by the government, including Oman Towers Company and Omani Broadband Company”.
Connecting to the capital, the government plans to build a third and fourth lane of Rusayl–Nizwa dual carriageway project from Muscat Expressway Junction to Bidbid-Sur Junction.