Oman unveils causeway project to Masirah Island
Dual-carriage bridge across 25km of open sea targets economic growth
Oman’s Ministry of Transport has unveiled plans for a 25km-long causeway across open sea to directly link Masirah Island with the rest of Oman, joining the road network at the town of Shanna.
Upon completion, it could also rank among the largest causeways in the Middle East, and it is expected to spur the modernisation of Masirah on a major scale over the next 20-30 years.
Officials on the project told Oman Daily Observer that the project is expected to provide an economic jolt to the Sultanate's eastern seaboard. On Masirah, particularly ripe for development is a 65,000-hectare swathe of beach with a climate ideal for water sports and home to rich wildlife.
Last month, the government launched the process of selecting a consultant to undertake feasibility study for the project. The selected consultant will have to propose at least three different alignment options for the dual-carriage bridge, which will cater to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Importantly, it will also be required to study the cost of establishing an additional track for a railway line on the bridge, should the government decide to connect Shanna with the national rail network.
More than a dozen firms have so far registered their interest in participating in the consultancy services tender floated by the Tender Board last month. Bids will close on April 1, 2013.