King Fahd Causeway to see 45% capacity increase
Renovation works have been completed including the introduction of gates on the Saudi side and dedicated e-Payment lanes
Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Causeway Authority (KFCA) has announced the completion of a new development project which will increase the bridge’s passenger capacity by 45%.
Major renovation works on the bridge have been completed, following the suspension of passenger travel in March, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the kingdom.
The works included the introduction of new gates on the Saudi side and dedicated e-Payment lanes to facilitate processing of the bridge toll on both sides.
The development project comes as part of the authority's efforts aimed at increasing the capacity of the causeway that connects Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and bears considerable economic importance for both countries, particularly for their tourism sectors.
As per the tourism data for Bahrain for 2019, the kingdom welcomed 11.1 million visitors, of which 9.7 million, or 88%, arrived via the King Fahd Causeway, which highlights the significance of the project for the country.
Recently, Bahrain Customs installed artificial intelligence scanners at the King Fahd Causeway, automating data collection and enabling shipment inspections to take place before reaching the border.
This move has increased both the speed and capacity for processing as demonstrated by a 15% growth in trade between both the kingdoms in Q1 2020.
Despite the implications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial shipping of essential goods across the causeway has continued.