Contractors are still waiting for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT) to award the contract to build a series of bridges linking the Umlifaina islands to the Abu Dhabi mainland.

The Department of Transport received bids from 14 contractors for the contract in November last year (MEED 23:11:11).

“We haven’t heard anything,” says a contractor hoping to work on the project. “It is another project that has disappeared into a black hole.”

The estimated AED1bn ($272m) contract involves building two major bridges and three smaller crossings. The first main bridge will connect Abu Dhabi mainland to a smaller island and the second will link the smaller island to the main Umlifaina island.

Another contractor that is bidding for work on scheme says the contract could be redesigned and retendered. “I think the concept will change. If that happens,s it will be retendered.”

Umlifaina islands are located near to Reem Island and Saadiyat Island – both of which are currently being developed.

The consultant for the bridges project is the Abu Dhabi office of Aurecon.

The bridges will open up the Umlifaina islands for real-estate development. Local developer Tasameem Real Estate has prepared plans for the islands that include residential, leisure, hotel and commercial buildings. Other parts of the 5-square-kilometre masterplan include a water park, shopping mall and other tourist attractions.

UK-based Atkins prepared the concept masterplan.