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Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi Overview

Often regarded as the most complex bridge ever built, the 842 metres long and 64 metres high Sheikh Zayed Bridge is truly a sight to see. It spans the waters of the Maqta channel, and it is the fourth bridge connecting Abu Dhabi to the mainland. It was designed by Zaha Hadid, who was the first woman architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize winner.

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Architecture and Style

The structure of the bridge was built in such a way that it could withstand high wind speeds, high and low temperatures as well as natural disasters. It has an engineered life span of about 120 years.

The bridge is designed with curved arches, which resemble the sand dunes of the desert country of United Arab Emirates. It also features dynamic lighting, seen in the illuminating colours along the spine of the bridge. It consists of over 2,000 cells, on the road and below the deck. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Zaha Hadid, the lighting symbolises the connecting nature of the bridge and the energy of the city of Abu Dhabi.

The structure consists of three sand dune-shaped arches linked together by concrete blocks, with the largest arch rising 63 metres above the roadway. The road decks are suspended from the arches, creating a waveform having a fluid silhouette. The bridge has four lanes going each way, an emergency lane and a pedestrian pathway.

Significance of the Bridge

The arch bridge is named after the former President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Opened on 28 November 2010, the bridge aimed to bring greater achievements to the country, and inspire the people to fulfil the goals of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. It also symbolises the process of continued development due to the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed.

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