37 Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah Causeway
PMI #MIP2020 | Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway
For building a bridge to Kuwait’s future
Looking to diversify its economy beyond oil, Kuwait is out reimagine the ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Persian Gulf. The ambitious vision is anchored by a sprawling free trade zone that, when completed over the next 25 years, would create a new shipping port, spaces for 700,000 residents and up to 450,000 new jobs.
The first step in turning the strategy into reality: building a shortcut between the nation’s capital, Kuwait City, and Subiyah, home of the Silk City development. Completed in May 2019, the US$3 billion Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah Causeway includes two separate roads, which extend 48 kilometers (30 miles) over Kuwait Bay. The result? Travel time between the two cities was slashed from 90 minutes to less than 30.
Sponsored by the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works and designed by French engineering group Systra and U.K. engineering firm Tony Gee and Partners, the world’s largest maritime highway includes several innovative features:
Gust of Inspiration
The signature element is a 340-meter (1,115-foot) cable-stayed bridge bound by a pylon shaped like a sail. But the design delivers more than aesthetics—the team elevated the bridge so ships could pass underneath.
The team constructed two 30-hectare (74-acre) artificial islands that give travelers access to emergency service buildings, maintenance facilities, fuel stations and a boat dock.
Intelligent transportation monitoring systems feed data to the Kuwaiti Traffic Management Center so it can track traffic, emergency vehicles, road violations and trip duration.