The Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Causeway, a 40km long marine causeway featuring a 22km bridge and 18km embankments connecting the west coast of Qatar to the east coast of Bahrain, is scheduled to begin construction in 2010.
The $3 billion project was originally scheduled to begin last year in May 2008, however in a statement from Bahrain's Works Minister Fahmi al-Jowder the new deadline was announced.
"Work on the project will start in 2010 and it is expected to take four-and-a-half years to complete."
"Negotiations are still under way regarding the cost and are expected to be finalised by the end of the year, but initial estimates hover around the $3 billion mark. Bahrain and Qatar have already allocated a budget of $500m to start the project," he said.
When completed, the causeway will be the longest in the world and will also boast a 13 metre wide railroad bridge. Travel time from Qatar to Bahrain by car is expected to be reduced from four-and-a-half hours to around 30 minutes.
According to an estimate, the volume of traffic on the causeway is expected to be around 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles a day.
Construction contacts were awarded to KBR, an engineering company head-quartered in Houston, Texas, "to provide design, project and construction management services for the Qatar-Bahrain road and rail marine crossing." Other groups involved include the Qatar and Bahrain Causeway Foundation and a consortium of companies led by French construction major Vinci Construction and the German Company HOCHTIEF Construction AG and CCC and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.
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