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Contract signed to build world's longest causeway

A consortium led by French firm Vinci today signed the contract to build the world’s longest causeway between Bahrain and Qatar.

The 40km Friendship Bridge will comprise 18km of embankments where the sea is shallow and 22km of viaducts and bridges over deep water, including two 400m cable-stayed bridges over shipping channels.

It will replace the 38km Lake Pontchartrain causeway in Louisiana, US, as the longest structure of its type in the world.

Vinci's consortium also includes Qatari Diar and Hochtief, while dredging on the project will be carried out by the Middle East Dredging Company.

Work will start after nine months of studies and will be completed in 51 months.

The signing of the contract comes much later than anticipated by the Bahraini Government.

In May last year Bahrain Works & Housing minister Fahmi bin Ali Al-Jowder told NCE that he expected Vinci to be officially on board by the end of 2007.

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