JEDDAH — The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) announced that it has completed construction of Shurayrah Bridge, the longest water bridge in Saudi Arabia.
The company said that it has celebrated the installation of the last concrete block, weighing 400 tons, in the construction of the bridge that is an essential part of the infrastructure of the first phase of the Red Sea Destination Project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2023.
The 1.2km iconic bridge is part of the 3.3km crossing from the mainland to the project’s main hub island Shurayrah. The bridge will stretch a total of 1.2km across the Red Sea, with two small 36m sections at each end of the crossing to allow for movement of marine mammals.
According to an official source at TRSDC, the bridge was designed “in accordance with the highest standards of environmental commitment and sustainability, to be an architectural icon while protecting and preserving the environment during the construction and operation of the bridge.”
The source noted that the construction of the bridge’s basic structure has been completed and work is now underway on asphalting the bridge, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.
The source said that the first phase of the Red Sea Destination Project marked an important development with the completion of more than 50 percent of its work, in addition to the full operation of many major assets, including a 4-star hotel run by TRSDC, and the company’s offices at the Destination site, as well as the largest nursery in the Middle East. The work is progressing well so as to receive guests by the end of this year, when the Destination’s first hotels will open.
The Shurayrah Bridge is one of the longest water bridges in Saudi Arabia, with a length of 3300 meters and a width of 28 meters. It contains two lanes for the passage of smart cars to and from the island and lanes for pedestrians and bicycles. The bridge represents the lifeline of the island as it is the main access point for Shurayrah Island, and connects the island with the mainland.
The Shurayrah Bridge consists of more than 600 pre-cast concrete blocks, and their weights range from 80 to 400 tons. Its design and construction methods met TRSDC’s strict criteria for sustainable development. Sustainable measures include strict controls on the prevention of any sediment movement from piling activities with multiple monitoring buoys strategically sited to alert any breakthrough from surface booms. A precast yard for bridge sections was established near the coast to minimize travel distances with concrete sourced from on-site batching plants.
The ARCHIRODON group, the world leader in infrastructure projects and marine works, was keen to achieve sustainability in the process of constructing the longest water bridge in Saudi Arabia, by implementing studies to assess the environmental impact of the bridge to ensure that the marine environment is preserved. More than 90 percent of the concrete used was environmentally friendly, precast, instead of conventional concrete to ensure that no leaks or environmental problems occurred at the bridge site.
The source stressed that the construction operations were taken into account the preservation of the local plants present at the bridge site, such as mangroves, which have been relied upon as part of the aesthetic aspect of the bridge design, and which TRSDC seeks to enhance and preserve.
Shurayrah Island is one of the 22 islands in an archipelago of more than 90 selected for development. The spectacular Coral Bloom design concept for Shurayrah was created by renowned British architects Foster + Partners.
It is heavily influenced by the island’s natural landscape, with hotels that are nestled amongst the dunes and bio-diversity taking center stage throughout.
The Red Sea Project is a luxury tourism destination that will set new standards sustainable development and position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. The project will be developed over 28,000 sq. km of pristine lands and waters along Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 islands.
It has already passed numerous significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and the first hotels will open. All 16 hotels planned in Phase 1 will be opening by the end of 2023.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include a luxury marina, entertainment and leisure facilities.
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