Qatar Bahrain Causeway, also known as the 'Qatar Bahrain Friendship Bridge' is a 40-km (25mi) long causeway that connects Qatar and Bahrain. This link will also act as a natural extension to the King Fahd Causeway connecting Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.
The eastern end of this causeway in Qatar will be located at Ras Ashairij, which is 5km South of the city of Zuabarah. However, the opposite end will link the North of Askar in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
As the project got its approval in 2005, a formal agreement was signed in June 2006 to form an organization that would raise $4.5 billion to implement the plan. Then, in December 2008, it was announced that construction would start in 2009.
On 27 April 2011, an announcement was made stating construction of the causeway would start in 2011 and will be completed by 2015. But the designs were revised, and it was announced that only 70% of the designs are complete.
In 2012, Bahrain's Foreign Minister invoked financial turbulence and meant that it only might be ready shortly before 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Here are the other elements that you need to know about Qatar Bahrain Causeway:
Alignment and Layout of 'The Causeway'
The total length of the bridge is 22km along with the two main navigation span bridges (each with a main span of 225m). A free view over the sea area and other causeway elements will also be present along the causeway. Then, there will be two secondary navigation routes with vertical bridge clearances of 15m.
Provisions are also made in the longitudinal profile for free vertical clearances for the main bridges of 35m (Qatar) and 27 m (Bahrain).
There will be rational pre-stressed concrete box girder design over the entire length and cable-stayed alternative over both large navigation portions. Further, this shape will be applied to all the bridge piers for obtaining a coherent design as same that of the family of bridge components.
When it comes to the sustainability of the causeway, COWI was selected to act as a design consultant for the same. Now taking into account the location of the structure, the company has focused on a sustainability strategy from the very beginning.
This strategy takes into account all three aspects of the sustainability concept- environment, economics, and social conditions.
Here is how sustainability approach was executed:
- Various geotechnical investigations were carried out within a 15km study corridor between the two countries. The investigations have been used for concept and design of foundations of the bridge.
- A zero solution was adopted so that the causeway does not affect the exchange of water and salt between the Arabian Gulf and DahwatSalwa.
- Usage of solar and wind energy for partial construction needs.
- Culverts were introduced in the long dams to improve the migration of shrimp larvae from north to south.
- An Environmental Management Plan was established to make sure that the construction contractor follows the environmental protection requirements, defined in the EIA.
- From the design phase of the project, biodiversity was taken into consideration.
- Reduction in Greenhouse Gas and Carbon emissions during the construction.
As the bridge construction will be completed, extra solar and wind energy will be distributed to the local energy network. This network will provide input to reduce CO2 emissions in both countries.
Operations and Border Facilities
The causeway will have border processing system, electronic payment system, traffic monitoring and surveillance system (TMSS), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for the two countries.
The electronic payment system will transfer information to banking systems and collect tolls at the causeway authority. TMSS will ensure safety and efficient use of the structure. SCADA is installed for traffic control and management. It will also allow the collection of measurement data on the status of causeway systems.
If the Qatar Bahrain Causeway witnesses the light of the day, it will help to improve transportation and be a one step closer to unifying the Gulf States as one country. It will also boost the economies of both countries considerably.
Moreover, a trip between Bahrain and Qatar usually takes up to five hours, and visitors are also required to involve Saudi Arabia. But with the construction of this causeway, the journey will cut down to less than an hour.
So what do you feel?
Do you think that this causeway will be completed before the 2022 World Cup?