Qatar and Bahrain are currently carrying out financial negotiations with the contracting consortium that is involved in the stalled $3bn Qatar-Bahrain Causeway.
Nayef al-Emadi, general secretary of the Qatar Bahrain Causeway Foundation (QBCF) says that the project will resume as soon as negotiations are complete. Al-Emadi was speaking on the sidelines of MEED’s Mena Rail Projects 2010 conference.

The project was put on hold in June and the contracting consortium had demobilised its team (MEED 7:6:10).

The consortium is led by a joint venture of state-owned developer Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (QDREIC) and French contractor Vinci Construction Grand Projets. Germany’s Hochtief, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Dredging International from Belgium and the local Middle East Dredging Company (Medco) are the other consortium members.

US-based engineering and construction firm KBR is managing the project.

Early construction work was scheduled to begin in the first quarter of the year. The early works involves site preparation and the construction of a camp to house construction workers.

The 40-kilometre bridge will include a four-lane motor crossing, which was scheduled for completion in 2013 and two railway lines that were due to be completed by 2015.

The project will also comprise 22 kilometres of bridges and viaducts, 18km of embankments, two 400-metre cable-stayed bridges. The causeway will connect Ras Ashairij on the west coast of Qatar to Askar on the east coast of Bahrain.

The project is also known as the Friendship Bridge and was to be jointly funded by the Qatari and Bahraini governments, which would recover some of the construction costs through the implementation of a toll system on the bridge.

The crossing is expected to cut the journey time between the two countries, which currently involves a detour through Saudi Arabia, from five hours currently to just 30 minutes.