The Ministry of Public Works has invited prequalification for what is set to be one of the most ambitious infrastructure schemes ever undertaken in the region, the 36-kilometre-long Subiya causeway. Interested firms have until 24 January to submit applications to design and build the estimated $1,500 million bridge, which is officially called the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah Causeway.
Under the proposed bidding schedule, prequalified companies will be announced in the second quarter of next year, with tender documents due out in the summer. A final contract award is expected by the end of 2005. The estimated construction time is 60 months. The project involves the construction of an eight-lane causeway across Kuwait Bay to link Kuwait City with the planned new town of Subiya. The scheme's central element is a 27-kilometre-long, low-level elevated bridge across the shipping channel with a main span of 150-200 metres. The contract also calls for the construction of a 25-hectare artificial island to support the bridge, a five-kilometre-long approach road on the northern side and a three-kilometre-long elevated road through the Shuwaikh port district on the southern side. The causeway will greatly reduce travel times between the two areas. The initial conceptual and route studies for the project were completed by Denmark's COWI (Construction, MEED Special Report 2:7:04, pages 34-35; MEED 30:4:04).
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