The $3 billion project - officially named as the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway project – involves the design, build, completion and maintenance of the causeway, which spans Kuwait Bay between Kuwait City and the Subbiya area. Once completed, it shall cut driving time between Kuwait City and Subbiya from the present 90 minutes to 20-25 minutes.
The construction contract was awarded to a consortium led by South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Construction, along with Kuwait's Combined Group Contracting Company.
The causeway project consists of the main bridge north to Subbiya and a 12.4 km bridge running west, named the Doha Link. The two bridges start from the same point at Shuwaikh Port, the country's main commercial port. The 36 km Subbiya Bridge, with three-quarters of it over water, stands between 9m and 23m above sea level, sitting on more than 1,500 piles, which have a diameter of up to 3 m each. Some have been driven as deep as 72 metres into the loose clay seabed, stated Mai Al Messad, project engineer. The bridge crosses two artificial islands on its route, Bay Island North and Bay Island South.
According to a relative AFP report, Kuwait plans for the Subbiya Bridge to be a connection to its remote north regions, aiming to revive the ancient Silk Road trade route. The country plans to invest billions into the "Silk City" project, with the budget expected to exceed $100 billion. A 5,000 MW power plant has already been built in Subbiya.
"The causeway project is a strategic link connecting Kuwait City to the northern region," said Ahmad Al Hassan, assistant undersecretary for road engineering at the public works ministry. He told AFP that in addition to the fully integrated residential Silk City, other economic ventures are planned for Subbiya and its surroundings.
A large container port is also under construction on nearby Bubiyan, Kuwait's largest island, according to Mai Al Messad. Completing the causeway and harbour projects will pave the way for transforming the area into a commercial and investment hub with a free trade zone planned on five islands nearby.
Source: Arab News