The Noor City Development Corporation, the California-based company building the $20-25bn Yemen-Djibouti bridge project, says it is restructuring the division responsible for bridge development.

The company did not specify the reason for the restructuring or the effect it will have on construction progress.

Restructuring is not expected to be completed until January 2010, says a source close to the project.

Denmark’s COWI has completed the sketch design for the 28-kilometre bridge that will rise 400 metres above sea level.

Dubai-based firm Middle East Development began construction works for the bridge in June however private investors are also likely to be invited to participate in future stages.

This crossing will be the first bridge to link the Arabian peninsula with the African continent.

Phase 1 involves the construction of the bridge from Yemen to the island of Perim in the Red Sea.

Phase 2 will go on to connect with Djibouti, on the east coast of Africa.

On completion, the project will comprise six lanes of roads, four railway lines, power cables, gas pipelines and water and oil pipelines.

Two new cities will also be developed at each end of the bridge.

The project is due to be developed in stages and is scheduled to take about nine years to complete.