Proposed causeway would cut Saudi-Egypt travel time to 30 minutes
King Fahd Causeway linking Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. (Twitter)
A proposed causeway between Saudi Arabia and Egypt will cut travel times between the two countries to 30 minutes, the engineer responsible for the blueprints was quoted as saying.
Plans for the project were first mooted in 1988 before being revived during Saudi ruler King Salman’s visit to Egypt in April.
Local publication Saudi Gazette cited former Egyptian minister of transport Ibrahim Al-Dimairi, who was the mastermind of the project, for the crossing time.
He was quoted saying the causeway could be “easily” implemented in three years at a cost of $3-4bn and would pay for itself within 10 years.
Explaining the plans, Dimairi said the link would begin from the north of Ras Nasrani, close to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, to reach the eastern shores of Ras Sheikh Hammad north of Dhiba port in Saudi Arabia. This route would see it pass over disputed Tiran Island, which Egypt agreed to hand over to Saudi Arabia during King Salman’s visit to some controversy at home.
The causeway itself would be 26-30km in length and 36 metres wide, with three road traffic lanes in each direction and an 11.3-metre wide two-track railway, the former official was quoted as saying.
He said the link could be used as a route for high-speed trains, which would travel at speeds of 250kmh on the structure and 350kmh on either side.
Dimairi said a joint consortium would be the best method to implement the project, which is expected to be 75m high, using build-operate-transfer financing.
“It will be much better if the two countries themselves implement and operate the project,” he added.
He suggested it would boost GCC investments in Egypt and boost trade between Arab countries.
By Robert Anderson
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