Paris based engineering consultancy company Systra designed, world’s forth longest sea-bridge.
Kuwait has inaugurated one of the world’s longest sea bridges – despite it presently going nowhere. Previous week, Kuwati officials inaugurated the 36 kilometer ‘Jaber’ couseway whch worths 3.6 billion. It connects Kuwait City across the bay to the empty northern desert of Subbiya which cutts the drive by more than an hour. Presently is upopulated, Subbiya is slated as the site for Kuwait’s ‘Silk City’ a ~$130 billion mega-project linking the Gulf to Central Asia and Europe.
The bridge is named after Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, The Sheikh Jaber Causeway stretches for 36 kilometres overall with apporoximately 80 percent over the water making it the world’s fourth longest sea bridge behind a US and two Chinese contenders, including the 55km sea bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and the Chinese mainland which opened last year. The King Fahd Causeway between Bahrain and KSA, inaugurated in 1986, is still the sixth longest.
Built over four years by Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co-led consortium together with Kuwait’s Combined Group Contracting Co, the causeway was initially designed by Systra, an international engineering and consulting firm headquartered in Paris. For the three-year project, Systra assembled a multinational team of 250 experts from France, India, Kuwait, Dubai and Korea, and produced in excess of 14,650 drawings.
In the opinion of the firm, the combination of non-standard elements and technical challenges to overcome in both a desert and marine environment pushed it to implement leading-edge technical and economic solutions never previously used on such a scale with the innovations in construction methods in turn reducing the impact on marine ecosystems as well as the construction risks associated with offshore projects.
Project Director Mohamed Akraa, described how bold choice of proposing monopiles to support the structure, even in an unfavourable geological context, enabled stability, while significantly reducing seismic effects, the need for natural resources and the risk of concrete dispersion in the sea.
With the 104 kilometer distance from the capital to Subbiya now cut to just 36 kilometers, and drive-times reduced from around 90 minutes to less than half an hour, the inauguration of the ‘Jabar’ bridge is an important step forward the realising the 250 square kilometer Silk City project or Madinat al-Hareer – an ambitious special economic and trade zone being developed in conjunction with China with an awaited completion date of around 2035. The causeway would establish Kuwait as an international trade centre connecting the Middle East with the rest of Asia.