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Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom may get 'submerged floating bridge'

Misk Foundation competition sees young Saudis designing 'Submerged Floating Tunnel Bridge' for the gigaproject

Saudi Arabia says Neom is the most ambitious construction project on earth.
Saudi Press Agency
Saudi Arabia says Neom is the most ambitious construction project on earth.

A submerged floating bridge could be built for Saudi Arabia’s futuristic super city Neom, after a team of young Saudis won a competition to contribute to the $500bn (SAR1.9tn) gigaproject.

The competition was organised by Crown Prince HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz’s Misk Foundation, which set out to find creative construction ideas for the project along the Red Sea.

The winning team created a ‘Submerged Floating Tunnel Bridge’, which it said would help to reduce air pollution and have a limited environmental impact on the area.

Second place in the competition went to the team behind the ‘Magna Storage Park’ –  a water pump that can overcome intermittent renewable energy shortages.

The team behind 'Neom Assist' picked up the third-place prize, creating technology that gives people with special needs access to advanced care and development.

Among the other highly-praised nominations was a team that presented a way to source sustainable energy without impacting the aesthetics of Neom. The ‘Neom Hot Rocks’ team created a sustainable and carbon-free concept that focused on sourcing energy from rocks. Another team, ‘Eco-Clusters’, looked at how the Saudi Arabian gigaproject could use vertical farming to recycle waste.

Neom will be made up of 16 economic sectors, including renewable energy, biotech, and manufacturing. Construction on the gigaproject was due to start in Q1 2019, after a masterplan for Neom Bay, the first area to be built within the gigaproject, was approved.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019