Ministry of Transport and Communications commissions study for bridge linking Masirah and Shanna
The Omani government, represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, has floated a tender for a feasibility study for a causeway bridge linking Masirah Island and the city of Shanna on the mainland.
The study will assess the financial costs associated with the execution of the project, as well as the ‘ramifications for socio-economic development on the island’, the ministry said. Interested bidders have till April 1, 2013 to submit their offers for the consultancy services contract.
The Masirah Causeway Project stems from a Royal Directive issued by the Sultan of Oman in June 2010, which tasked the government with exploring the options for a sea-bridge spanning the channel separating the Sultanate’s largest island with the mainland.
The orders were issued after Cyclone Phet struck large parts of the Sultanate’s east coast, including the island, the Oman Daily Observer reported. The cyclone caused a mass evacuation of the island, and the proposed project will serve as a modern, convenient and effective alternative to the existing ferry service that is currently in operation.
The causeway is estimated to cost between $519mn and $649mn given the length of the channel, which is approximately 30km across. The project will be a capital intensive infrastructure venture, the newspaper said.
Once it is operational, the island is expected to see major economic, commercial and tourism investment, while the city of Shanna will also see major development.
As a result, the selected consultant will be expected to provide a study into a variety of issues, including the bridge structure, potential entry and exit locations, as well as environmental impact and shipping and navigation concerns.