Traffic spike shows need for new Saudi-Bahrain causeway

06 March 2023
Contractors have been approached to work on the proposed $3.5bn second crossing

The need for a second causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has been highlighted by a new record for the most crossings in a single day using the existing King Fahd Causeway.

On Saturday 4 March, 136,498 passengers crossed the causeway, the most ever recorded. This number exceeded the 131,000 passengers that used the crossing on 11 January 2020.

The record was set as plans for a second causeway linking the two countries moves towards construction. MEED reported earlier this year that selected construction companies had submitted feedback questionnaires and held meetings with the King Fahd Causeway Authority to discuss the $3.5bn second causeway.


In 2021, senior government officials in Bahrain told MEED that the project was progressing towards tendering as financial studies had been completed.

The project was included in Bahrain’s $30bn Strategic Projects Plan that was announced later in 2021. As well as the causeway, the plan includes building new urban areas on five reclaimed islands to increase the country’s total land area by 60 per cent. It also included plans for a new airport.

READ MORE: The region’s most ambitious causeway projects

The second causeway involves building a 25-kilometre road and rail crossing to link Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It will follow the same alignment as the existing King Fahd Causeway.

It has been earmarked for delivery on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. The King Fahd Causeway Authority appointed a consortium to provide transaction advisory services in late 2019.

The $8.9m consultancy agreement was signed with a consortium of Netherlands-headquartered KPMG, US-based Aecom and UK-based CMS. The team was tasked with working on developing the financing model, the required engineering specifications and design, as well as helping with the assessment and selection of the project’s developers.

Canada-based SNC Lavalin and UK-based consultancy firm PwC conducted the project due diligence study in 2017.

READ MORE: Bahrain looks ahead to major projects

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