Qatar/Bahrain link awaits green light

Danish firm, Cowi Consult has finalised a technical study for the world’s longest causeway, the proposed 40 km bridge that would link the Gulf states of Bahrain and Qatar.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 1, 2003

Danish firm, Cowi Consult has finalised a technical study for the world’s longest causeway, the proposed 40 km bridge that would link the Gulf states of Bahrain and Qatar. The project has already been approved by Bahrain and now awaits the okay from Qatar. “Bahrain has already made a political decision to go ahead with the project, but Qatar has not yet taken a final decision,” Bahraini Works & Housing Minister Fahmi Al Jowder stated on the Economic Development Board website. He said feasibility studies and conceptual designs for the longest causeway in the world have been completed. “I am very optimistic Qatar will soon give its go-ahead for the US $2 billion project, which would substantially contribute towards the economic and social development of our region,” said the Bahraini minister. Financing the US $2 billion project would be part of a political decision between the two Gulf countries, said Al Jowder, who co-chairs the technical committee along with Qatari Municipality & Agriculture Minister Ali bin Saad Al Kouwari. “There must be a decision at higher level than our committee to give the go-ahead for the project. The Supreme Committee for the project is co-chaired by the crown princes of both countries,” he pointed out. The project is feasible and would benefit both Bahrain and Qatar. “The bridge will bring our people closer than ever and will bring in substantial savings to the economy. It will mean a shorter period of travel and better transportation link for people in the GCC. If given the go-ahead, the causeway would be the longest in the world,” said the minister. Australian Ben Nordstrom, who worked for the past two years as the causeway technical committee senior technical adviser for the Works & Housing Ministry, has completed his mission. The conceptual designs covered the bridge and marine works, environmental works, infrastructure works within the causeway proper and at the approaches in both countries including drainage, lighting, telecommunications, fire fighting and other related works; toll plazas; rest areas; customs and immigration facilities. The roads department of the Qatari Municipal Affairs & Agriculture Ministry released specification details. It said the planners of the project should ensure minimum disruption to the ecology of adjacent bays in both countries. It was the consultant’s responsibility to avoid major demolition and major changes to existing or planned land use, thus preserving the evolving master plans for both countries.

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