Kuwait‘s Public Works Ministry has prequalified groups for the project to build a bridge across the sea linking Shuwaikh to the port village of Doha in the Jahra region of Kuwait.

The proposed Doha Link bridge is about 7 kilometres long and will link Shuwaikh port with the port at Doha. The ministry has prequalified 12 local/international consortiums for the tender.

The ministry hopes that the bridge will reduce road congestion in Shuwaikh and along Ghazali Road, as it believes many large trucks exiting from Shuwaikh port would use the new bridge instead.

The bridge will link up with the planned $2.6bn Subiya causeway project, which has suffered from stalled progress in recent months.

In February, Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approved the $2.6bn low bid from the consortium headed by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company to build the 37.5 km-long bridge, which will link Kuwait City with the Subiya promontory.

CTC approval is normally the final step before a formal contract award is made.

The award of the contract to build the bridge project has been delayed due to alleged compliance issues with the approved bid. Industry sources claim that the project is still going ahead and the low-bidding consortium has been asked to extend its bid bond until October.

It is not the first time that the causeway, officially known as the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah bridge, has suffered from delays. The project has been repeatedly delayed by design changes to allow large vessels to pass beneath it and prevent environmental damage. Bidders were first sought in 2006, but little progress was made until the ministry reopened the prequalification process in early 2010 (MEED 22:4:11).