An underground car park with nearly 500 spaces under Bab el Had square is also on track for completion to boost the capital’s visitor capacity.
Rabat – Construction on a tunnel to decongest traffic around Rabat’s iconic Bab el Had square commenced Tuesday. The project has an estimated cost of nearly MAD 40 million ($4.12 million).
Bab el Had marks one of the entrances to Rabat’s medina (old city) and leads to a major souk (open-air market), inducing heavy vehicle and foot traffic. The ancient gate is situated near the intersection of Avenue Hassan II, Avenue d’Egypte, and Avenue Ibn Toumart.
The decongesting tunnel is set to begin near the intersection of the Mohammed V and Hassan II avenues towards the Ait Baha shopping center, and lead to Avenue d’Egypt by a ramp.
In addition to the ramp, which will pass below the tram line, the project will construct an upper roundabout and one-way lateral tracks and complete an underground car park with nearly 500 spaces under Bab el Had square.
Societe Rabat Region Amenagements is leading the major tunnel and car park projects, which are part of the King’s integrated mega-program for the development of the Moroccan capital.
According to the project leaders, the tunnel should help solve the problem of traffic jams near the busy square popular with locals and tourists alike.
King Mohammed VI’s Rabat development program revolves around promoting the city’s heritage while preserving green spaces and the environment, improving access to local services and facilities, consolidating governance, upgrading the urban fabric, modernizing transport equipment, revitalizing economic activities, and strengthening road infrastructure.
The King launched the program on May 11, 2015, with an initial provisional investment nearing MAD 1.5 billion ($154.4 million) to improve mobility and living conditions within the capital and throughout its suburbs.
The “Rabat capital of culture, city of lights” initiative aims to reduce congestion, improve road safety, and positively impact the environment.
The first phase of the project included redeveloping the bypass linking the Casablanca-Rabat highway; building an urban bypass linking Rabat and Sale; installing Zaer-Agdal high voltage lines beneath the Abderrahim Bouabid, Ibn Rochd, and Maa El Aynine avenues; and developing the Abderrahim Bouabid avenue.
Since its introduction, King Mohammed VI’s program has grown to encompass cultural and educational development to consolidate Rabat’s status as a city at the crossroads of antiquity and modernity.