2nd bridge linking KSA and Bahrain to cost $5bn

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MANAMA : A second causeway linking Bahrain with Saudi Arabia and providing a route for a regional railway network being built by Gulf kingdoms will cost about $5 billion, a minister said.

“The cost of the causeway will be roughly $5 billion,” Bahrain’s Transport Minister Kamal bin Ahmed told AFP on the sidelines of a two-day business conference, adding that it will be “part of the GCC railway network.”

Details of the project for the causeway — which will be used by vehicles as well as freight and passenger trains — will be discussed at a joint meeting next month, he said.

“We have almost finalized the routes of the causeway,” he told participants in the conference.

Teams from both countries are “still working on other technical issues including financing,” especially on how to get the private sector involved, the minister said.

Ahmed however said no date has been fixed for the start of the project. “We need it to start soon,” he said.

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been linked since 1986 by a 25-km causeway used by several million people every year.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced the plan for the new causeway last week in a meeting with King Hamad, saying the new link would be named after Bahrain’s monarch.

The GCC railway network, approved by the Gulf leaders in 2004, is expected to be completed by 2017, although progress has been very slow amid differences. The regional network is planned to stretch over a distance of 2,000 km and will cost an estimated $20 billion.

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