MORRISTOWN, N.J.—Louis Berger, program manager for the 2.6 mile (4.2 km) Sheikh Zayed Street  project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates celebrated the project’s completion with the public opening of the final section of the project, the Zayed Street Tunnel, on December 4. The project consisted of four sections, of which the tunnel was the largest and final section, constructed under contract with the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.

“The Zayed Street Tunnel marks one of the longest tunnels in the Middle East, and is a signature transportation achievement for the UAE,” said Tom Topolski, Louis Berger Senior Vice President and Middle East General Manager. “The tunnel will relieve surface traffic congestion along Sheikh Zayed Street—a major artery in downtown Abu Dhabi—by approximately 20 percent.”

As the program manager, Louis Berger has been responsible for scheduling, financial, contractual, quality assurance and coordination activities, including ongoing strategic advice to the Municipality. The Louis Berger team worked closely with contractors and other stakeholders to help mitigate the technical, social and economic challenges that occur when constructing an eight-lane tunnel in the downtown portion of a major metropolis with a population of more than 600,000 people.

This iconic section of the project was named in honor of the UAE’s first president, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan during the opening ceremony. The project, which began in 2007, was constructed to meet an aggressive schedule that demanded multiple working shifts while ensuring businesses and residences along the route continuous access.

The tunnel was successfully built using the cut-and-cover method of construction while controlling the high water table on the island of Abu Dhabi. The project also included grade-separated interchanges, tunnels and road widening as part of three other contracts under the program management. The largest of the four contracts, the Zayed Street Tunnel included 2.1 miles (3.4km) of cut and cover tunnel. The three other contracts completed under the Sheikh Zayed Street project included expressway widening and upgrades as well as bridges and underpasses to facilitate the flow of traffic that reaches 6,000 vehicles per hour during peak hours.

About Berger Group Holdings (Louis Berger) 
Louis Berger is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science and economic development services. We are a trusted partner to federal, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions and commercial industry. To this diverse client base, we bring strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit, developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. With a resource base of more than 6,000 professionals and affiliate employees in more than 50 countries, we are able to respond to local conditions while providing clients with the technical resources and rapid response capabilities of a leading global organization.