30 June 2013
Saudi Arabia is planning to build two artificial islands off the coast near Bahrain, in a bid to help stem the rising traffic congestion on the causeway between the two Gulf states, it has been reported.
The causeway between the kingdom and Bahrain has seen a four-fold increase in traffic in recent years and there is an urgent need to speed up plans to tackle the problem, Eastern Province Governor Prince Saud bin Naif said.
“These solutions will take time, and both countries are working hard to speed up the implementation process and ease the current congestion especially during peak hours,” Prince Saud told the Arab News.
The plan to tackle the congestion problem will include building two man-made islands off the coast to accommodate the increase in traffic.
King Fahd Causeway Authority chief Badr Al-Otaishan said the project includes the two artificial islands will be over 600,000 square meters each and will accommodate up to 4,000 small vehicles per hour in each direction. Inspection yards will accommodate 400 trucks and a waiting area for trucks with a capacity another 400.
“The bridge has been undergoing development since 2008, which contributes to easing travel procedures and traffic movement,” Al-Otaishan said.
The plans include turning the existing island used as part of the causeway will be turned into a recreational and tourist attraction, the report said.
The region is home to a number of manmade island developments, including the palm shaped island off the coast of Dubai and The World project, which is a series of islands in the shape of the globe.