A plan is under way to build two artificial service islands near the coasts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to accommodate rising numbers of passenger cars and cargo trucks, a senior official said recently.
King Fahd Causeway Authority chief Badr Al-Otaishan unveiled the plan during a meeting with causeway officials and Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif.
The present island will be turned into a recreational and tourist attraction.
Al-Otaishan said the project includes the construction of the two artificial islands over 600,000 square meters each. These will accommodate up to 4,000 small vehicles per hour in each direction. Inspection yards will accommodate 400 trucks and a waiting area for trucks with a capacity to accommodate 400, in addition to other facilities.
"The bridge has been undergoing development since 2008, which contributes to easing travel procedures and traffic movement."
Prince Saud urged causeway workers to speed up procedures for travelers between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain but said security and safety procedures should not be compromised. "We want to facilitate matters, but we don't want to disrupt our work," he said.
"We encourage them to maintain the safety of the country. There is no room for complacency in the field of security and safety," he said.
Prince Saud said there has been a four-fold increase in the number of travelers crossing the bridge and plans are underway to ease the congestion. "These solutions will take time, and both countries are working hard to speed up the implementation process and ease the current congestion especially during peak hours," he said.