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Project overview: Qatar-Bahrain Causeway

With construction due to start this year, we look at this huge project

SPECIAL REPORTS, Qatar Briefing 2009

The much talked about Qatar-Bahrain Causeway looks set to begin construction towards the end of this year.

Dubbed the ‘Friendship Bridge’, this US $3 billion two-lane road bridge is symbolic of the longstanding, good relations between the two countries. Once complete it will be the world's longest marine causeway

Construction has been delayed for almost a year following the Qatar government’s decision to incorporate an additional railway track, but the importance of the project has never been doubted and all partners are adamant construction will soon commence.

The 40km road will link Qatar and Bahrain over a total of 18km of embankments and 22km of viaducts and bridges, including two triangular-shaped cable stay bridges high enough to allow freight ships to pass underneath.

It is expected to cut the travel time by car between the two countries from four and a half hours to just 30 minutes.

The project also includes freight and passenger rail lines, providing a direct connection for high-speed freight and passenger trains. The railway could eventually be extended in each direction, connecting Istanbul in Turkey to Muscat in Oman.

US engineering firm KBR and UK firm Halcrow are working together to provide design management, project management, and construction management services to the project.

The construction contract was awarded in May to a consortium of companies led by Paris-based Vinci Construction Grands Projects and Middle East Dredging Company (Medco). Work is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

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