Qatar could now proceed with the $1bn Doha Bay crossing as a combined tunnel and bridge project.

Initially the project was planned as a subsea tunnel that would run under the bay of Doha and link the New Doha International airport (NDIA) with Lusail.

In June 2010, Qatar’s Municipality and Urban Planning Ministry said the project might proceed as a bridge (MEED 17:6:10).

Qatar is now favouring that the project go ahead as “an iconic combination of tunnel and bridge”, says Torkel Rorstrand, managing director of Denmark’s Cowi in Qatar, speaking at MEED’s Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS).

No definite decision has yet been made.

Cowi completed the feasibility study, which recommended the project go ahead as a 12-kilometre tunnel.

The crossing would also include two small spurs that would run from the bridge itself to West Bay in Doha city and to the New Doha port.

The final budget for the tunnel project has not yet been decided, but the scheme is not included in an existing $20bn road building programme created by Doha.