The 10-month study contract, undertaken by the consortium, involved environmental, engineering and traffic studies and site investigations, as well as the preparation of three design options. The study represented phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 will involve detailed designs and the preparation of tender, while phase 3 covers the construction works. COWI was assisted on the phase 1 contract by water modelling specialist DHI Water & Environment, architect Dissing & Weitling, and Sund & Baelt.

The causeway will link the west coast of Qatar, close to the Zubarah fortress, to eastern Bahrain, south of Manama. When announced last year, Doha said that it was aiming to have the link completed in about 2006.