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Oman floats Masirah causeway bridge tender

Consultants sought to carry out feasibility study

NEWS, Projects, Masirah causeway, Oman, Shanna, Tender

The Oman government has floated a tender calling on consultancy firms to provide advisory services on a project to establish a causeway bridge linking Masirah Island with Shanna on the mainland.

Interested bidders will be expected to help with economic and social feasibility studies, initial planning and cost estimation, reports the Oman Daily Observer. They have until 1 April, 2013 to submit their offers.

The project stems from a royal directive issued by Sultan Qaboos bin Sa‘id in June 2010 in the wake of Cyclone Phet, which struck large parts of the Sultanate’s east coast, including Masirah Island. It resulted in a mass evacuation of residents from these areas and highlighted the need for an alternative means of transport to the existing ferry service that currently operates between Shanna and Masirah.

Given the length of the channel, which is roughly 30km across at Shanna, the causeway project is set to be a capital intensive infrastructure venture, with estimated costs varying in the range of $519m to $649m.

When operational, the Masirah causeway bridge is expected to open the island to major economic, commercial and tourism investment, the Oman government says. Significant development is also envisaged on the mainland side of the causeway.

Issues for the selected consultant to consider include locations for the crossings on the mainland and island, environmental impacts, and shipping and navigation concerns.

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