King Abudllah approves plans to construct a second terrestrial bridge between the two countries
A second bridge will be constructed between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain following project approval by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The approval came following a meeting between King Abdullah and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in Jeddah on Friday, 5 September 2014.
The new King Hamad Causeway will link north Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, and is aimed at strengthening relations between the GCC member states, according to Bahrain News Agency.
The announcement has met with approval from Bahraini government officials, including the country’s parliamentary speaker, Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Dhahrani. Al-Dhahrani praised the decision by the two GCC countries to undertake such a large-scale project which, he expects, will reap social and economic benefits for the region in the future.
Earlier in the week, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Services and Infrastructure, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa was presented with a copy of the annual report of the King Fahd Causeway Authority (KFCA) for 2013.
The causeway is a 25 m wide and 26 km long, four-lane highway, which links the two nations via Al-‘Aziziyyah in Saudi Arabia and Al-Jasra in Bahrain. Construction of the causeway cost $1.2 billion at the time and was financed entirely by Saudi Arabia. Building operations were completed in 1986 and the highway was opened to traffic later that year.
Deputy Prime Minister Al Khalifa said the King Fahd Causeway, “since it was opened 28 years ago, has been a testimony to the solid fraternal relations bonding the two kingdoms”.
The plan to develop a second highway had been in the pipeline all year. In August 2014, the Gulf Cooperation Council-Secretariat General (GCC-SG) announced it was undertaking a feasibility study, in collaboration with KFCA, for a new causeway to link Bahrain with the GCC railway via Saudi Arabia.
“The feasibility study is expected to be completed this year,” Dr Ramiz Al Assar, World Bank Resident Adviser of GCC-SG had said at the time.
“We are optimistic about securing the approval to move forward.”
No timeline has been announced for tendering or construction completion of the new King Hamad Causeway yet.