Construction of US$ 3 billion Bahrain-Qatar causeway to start in January

By Richard High11 December 2008

Construction of the World's longest bridge, the 40 km-long Bahrain-Qatar causeway is expected to start in January 2009, according local press reports.

Quoting Ahmed Hassan Al-Hammadi, chairman of Qatar-Bahrain Causeway Foundation (QBC Foundation), the WAM (Wakalat Anba'a al-Emarat) news agency, said the bridge will be one of the most important urban projects in the region and is a "quantum leap in strengthening economic development and social ties" between the two countries in particular, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in general.

"Geological and maritime surveys have already started, and the implementation stage will begin in January," said Mr Al-Hammadi.

The Qatar-Bahrain Causeway will be a 40 km-long, 2-lane road bridge between Qatar and Bahrain. It includes a series of artificial dykes for shallow sections and spans for deep sections for a total of 18 km of dykes and 22 km of viaducts and bridge, including two cable-stayed spans 400 m high to permit maritime navigation.

The project also includes freight and passenger rail lines, providing a direct connection for high speed freight and passenger rail between the two countries.

It is envisioned that the railway will eventually be extended in each direction connecting Istanbul, Turkey to Muscat, Oman, and beyond.

Dubbed the "Friendship Bridge," it will be the world´s longest marine causeway when completed in 2013 and will reduce travel time by car between the two countries from the current five hours to about 30 minutes.

This week US-based KBR was awarded a contract by the QBC Foundation to provide design management, project management, and construction management services for the crossing.

The news follows the announcement in May this year that construction of the US$ 3 billion structure was awarded to a consortium of construction companies, including QDVC (the Qatari subsidiary of Qatari Diar (51%) and of Vinci Construction Grands Projets (49%)), Hochtief and CCC in May this year.

Dredging will be carried out by Medco (Middle East Dredging Company).

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