RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the tourism developer wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has appointed a contractor to build the main 1.2 km bridge linking its flagship island project to the mainland.
“Shurayrah Bridge will become one of the main access points for guests onto the island, and its completion will mark a major undertaking in the development of the destination. Its construction is truly monumental as not only will the bridge be the very first connection to the islands, its construction will demonstrate our ability to accomplish huge feats of engineering whilst also protecting and enhancing the natural habitat,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said in a press statement.
Dutch firm ARCHIRODON has been appointed to provide engineering, procurement and construction support to complete the building of the Shurayrah Bridge, which will have two small 36 meter sections at each end of the crossing to allow for movement of marine mammals.
Shurayrah Island is one of the 22 islands in an archipelago of more than 90 selected for development.
The Red Sea Project was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July 2017. Elements of the first phase of the flagship scheme are due to open in 2022. Upon full completion in 2030, the project will comprise 50 hotels offering up to 8,000 rooms and 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.
Speaking at Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market last month, Pagano said the biggest challenge the developer has is not “messing up the place” and avoiding the “over-tourism” that has traditionally compromised nature-based tourist sites. “At the end of the day, our environment is our most valuable asset. It’s making sure that we balance the desire to build, and build it in a timely fashion, but never to the extent where we put at risk the very thing that will make this place so special,” he said.
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