Speaking at MEED’s Middle East Road Infrastructure conference in Dubai on 30 March he said that the underpass would have four interchanges.

The project, which will take five years to complete, will involve diverting existing power, water and sewage connections which currently lie under the highway. A detour road will also be created during construction.

The project will involve 14 separate contracts. The utility diversions will be completed in December 2008. The traffic detour will be built between May 2009 and April 2010. The fourth and main contract will be completed by October 2013.

“There are a number of contractors in Bahrain who would like to say they can do it, but I have some doubts,” said Doughty. “We are looking for innovations from major contractors, but it does not mean we will exclude local contractors.”