Second Saudi-Bahrain causeway project to cost $5bn
Sea bridge to be part of GCC railway network, route almost finalised
Ahmed also confirmed reports that the sea bridge would be part of the planned Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail project.
“The cost of the causeway will be roughly $5bn,” Ahmed told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the sidelines of a two-day business conference, adding that it will be “part of the GCC railway network”.
“We have almost finalised the routes of the causeway,” he told participants in the conference.
Teams from both countries are “still working on other technical issues including financing”, especially on how to get the private sector involved, the minister said.
Details of the causeway project, which will be used by vehicles as well as freight and passenger trains, will be discussed at a joint meeting next month, he said.
Ahmed, however, said no date has been fixed for the start of the project. “We need it to start soon,” he said.
Last week at a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Bahrain’s King Hamad, the Saudi monarch announced that the causeway would be named after his Bahraini counterpart.
King Hamad Causeway will become the second such route between the two countries, which have been linked since 1986 by a 25km causeway used by several million people every year.
The GCC railway network, of which the causeway will be a part, is planned to stretch over a distance of 2,000km and will cost an estimated $20bn. The project was approved by Gulf leaders in 2004 and, although its progress has been delayed amid differences, it is now expected to be completed by 2017.