Bridge of the Horns

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Coordinates: 12°35′07″N 43°20′57″E / 12.58528°N 43.34917°E / 12.58528; 43.34917

Bab-el-Mandeb area.

The Bridge of the Horns is a proposed construction project to build a bridge between the coasts of Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It will be constructed by the Noor City Development Corporation. The notice-to-proceed was issued by Middle East Development LLC, which is headed by Tarek bin Laden.

The concept for this innovative link was proposed by Kailash Chandra Tiwari of Australia. He had worked as a Strategic Transport Planning Consultant on a World Bank Project and with SMEC for the Government of Yemen. Mr. Tiwari and his team had developed a Road and Transport Master Plan for Yemen in 2005-06.

Prospective structure[edit]

The length of the bridge is estimated at 29 km (18 mi), with a total cost of around $20 billion USD. It has been proposed by a Dubai-based firm headed by Tarek bin Laden. Opening date is expected to be in the year 2020.

To clear submarine and surface vessels, the proposed bridge will have the longest suspension span in the world measuring 5 km (3.1 mi). The overall length of the entire bridge spanning the Red Sea, starting in Yemen, connecting to the island of Perim, and continuing on to Djibouti on the African continent, is expected to be roughly 28.5 km (17.7 mi). It must allow very large ships of the Suezmax size in both directions simultaneously.

It is expected that about 100,000 cars and 50,000 rail passengers will cross the bridge daily.[1]

One slight worry is a history of volcanic eruptions in the area: see Perim and Jabal al-Tair Island.

Expected use[edit]

Twin cities, referred to as Al Noor City, would be built on either end of the bridge; the prospective site's developers indicate that they will run on renewable energy. On the Djibouti side, President Ismael Omar Guelleh granted 500 km2 (190 sq mi) to build Noor City, the first of the hundreds of Cities of Light which the Saudi Binladen Group envisions building. The developers state that they expect Noor City to have 2.5 million residents by 2025, and the Yemeni twin city to have 4.5 million, while they envision a new airport serving both cities at a capacity of 100 million passengers annually. A new highway connecting the cities to Dubai is proposed, though there are no plans for roads to connect sparsely populated Djibouti with the population centers of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia or Khartoum in Sudan. One of the uses that are imagined for this bridge is for easy transcontinental access to the Hajj in Mecca.

The Economist magazine, noting that developers state that the project will make Noor City the "financial, educational, and medical hub of Africa", commented, "Africans may wonder why the hub is not being built in a bit of Africa where more Africans live and which has food and water."[2]

Timeline[edit]

2009
Original planned start[3]
December 2009
Yemen-Djibouti bridge gets go-ahead[4]
June 2010
Phase I of Yemen and Djibouti Causeway delayed[5]
2020
Planned end of construction[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]