Diar-Vinci consortium tipped to win package

A consortium led by state-owned Qatari Diar and French construction firm Vinci has signed a memorandum of understanding to design the Bahrain-Qatar Causeway.

Cause for celebration: the Diar-Vinci Consortium have an MOU for the Bahrain-Qatar Causeway.
Cause for celebration: the Diar-Vinci Consortium have an MOU for the Bahrain-Qatar Causeway.

A consortium led by state-owned Qatari Diar and French construction firm Vinci has signed a memorandum of understanding to design the Bahrain-Qatar Causeway.

The value of the 40km bridge has been estimated at US $3 billion.

The consortium is also tipped to pick up the main construction contract, which could be implemented on a ‘design and build' basis.

"We have signed an MOU with the Diar-Vinci consortium to start the design process," Raed Salah, director for roads projects and maintenance, Ministry of Public Works, Bahrain, and a member of the board of directors for the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway, told Construction Week.

"Even though the basic design has been done, the detailed design is yet to be drawn up."

Salah added that the final design of the bridge is expected to be completed in seven months.

"We are still waiting to award the main construction contract as it depends on the type of contract the board of directors decide to go with. We are considering many options - one of them being a design and build contract."

Construction of the causeway is expected to begin in May 2008, with completion earmarked for 2011.

The bridge, which on completion will be the longest fixed sea link in the world, will connect Ras Esharaq on the Northwest coast of Qatar with Askar Village, south of Manama on the east coast of Bahrain.

The Causeway is later expected to be extended to link the Qatari capital of Doha with Bahraini capital, Manama.

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