Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has awarded the construction contract for the 10-lane Saadiyat Bridge highway to a joint venture between German project construction powerhouse ED Zublin AG and UAE contracting firm Saif Bin Darwish.
The joint venture took the award, valued at AED 671 million (US $183.8 million), in the face of fierce competition from other international shortlisted bids from the Korean/UAE joint venture Samsung and Al Jaber and the Japanese/Turkish joint venture Taisei/Nurol.
“The Zublin/Bin Darwish bid was selected for its competitiveness in both commercial and technical terms,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Managing Director, TDIC.
Construction of the bridge, which will link Abu Dhabi with Saadiyat Island – the 27 square kilometre island lying 500 metres offshore the UAE capital – is due to begin before the end of this year with completion scheduled in 2009.
The construction of Saadiyat Bridge is one of the biggest infrastructure developments in Abu Dhabi. The bridge has been designed as a concrete box girder carrying five lanes of traffic in each direction as well as two future passenger rail system tracks and will be built using segmental technology.
The tender award covers civil, electrical and mechanical works for a two kilometre, at-grade, 10-lane freeway connecting the UAE capital’s Mina Zayed area with Saadiyat Island and the main 1.5 kilometre long bridge and two, 200 metre off ramps on the island.
“When complete, access provided by this main bridge will result in a five-minute drive from Abu Dhabi city to Saadiyat Island,” explained Lee Tabler, CEO, TDIC.
Saadiyat Bridge will be the main gateway to Saadiyat Island (Island of Happiness) which is being transformed into a strategic international tourism destination and which will be home to the Middle East’s first, and only, Guggenheim contemporary art museum.
The transformation of Saadiyat Island is TDIC’s flagship project with the development scheduled in three phases until completion in 2018. A second, 10-lane freeway is also planned to link Saadiyat Island with the Abu Dhabi-Dubai expressway meaning the island will be only a 25 kilometre drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport.