On Thursday, His Majesty King Mohammed VI opened the 3.2 billion dirham Rabat motorway bypass and the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa. The bridge has been named "The Mohammed VI Bridge"
Construction works were launched by the King in February 2011 as part of Mohammed V1's major structural projects policy after his accession to the throne.
This section of the highway has been a traffic bottleneck for years causing major disruptions and slow travelling times because it was the confluence of the major highways serving the South, Central, North and East of the country.
The project will not only relieve traffic on the existing ring road of the city of Rabat, but cut down the high numbers of heavy goods traffic, significantly reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. It is expected that the bypass will carry some 20,000 vehicles each day with economic benefits for the major centres of the Rabat and Salé with time savings and lower route and transport costs.
In a press statement, the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics, Aziz Rabbah, stressed that the bypass highway "will reduce transit times between regions, contributing to strengthening road safety".
This new road infrastructure originates in the existing motorway from Casablanca-Rabat north of Skhirat. It bypasses the towns of Mers El Kheir, Tamesna El Menzeh to Technopolis in Sala Al Jadida, where it ends by plugging into the beginning of the highway Salé-Kenitra.
On the terms of accessibility and connectivity, Rabat motorway bypass includes several improvements: a junction with Highway Casablanca-Rabat, an interchange to serve the new city of Tamesna, an interchange at the Common menzeh overlooking the boulevard Mohammed VI (Rabat), an interchange at Sala Al Jadida and another at Technopolis.
The bridge over the Oued Bouregreg is an exceptional structure, and at 950 metres, is the longest cable-stayed bridge Africa. Its two towers are 200 meters high and there is a wide apron of over 30 meters. This contemporary bridge, which provides several advantages in terms of aesthetics, safety, technical and environmental prowess, is distinguished by its architecture inspired by the Arab-Muslim civilisation. The two towers symbolise the new doors to the cities of Rabat and Salé.
The construction of the Rabat motorway bypass required a multitude of structures, including 16 underpasses, 14 overpasses, 7 vehicle passages and two pedestrian crossings.