A busy day at causeway

A busy day at causeway


By Khaled Al-Blahidi
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Dammam — Some 70,000 vehicles from the Saudi and Bahraini sides crossed the King Fahd Causeway on Friday, according to Director of Saudi Passports (Jawazat) Brig. Gen. Marei Al-Qahtani.
Citizens and expatriates in Saudi Arabia had an extended holiday for the National Day, which was celebrated on Friday.

The causeway authorities opened all 21 lanes for the smooth flow of the heavy traffic. The lanes were monitored by 128 surveillance cameras linked to the operations room which was set up recently.

The operations room is equipped withe the latest technology and has well-trained security staff to facilitate the flow of traffic to and from Bahrain, Al-Qahtani said.

The 25 km-long causeway links the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with Bahrain. The causeway starts in Saudi Arabia at Al-Aziziyyah, south of Al-Khobar, and extends up to Al-Jasra, west of Manama in Bahrain. It comprises two segments, a longer bridge from Khobar to Nasan Island in Bahrain and a shorter stretch from Nasan Island to the main island of Bahrain.

The $1.2b project was officially opened to public in 1986. On an average, it serves about 45,000 vehicles a day that increases to about 60,000 vehicles during weekends.

Around 5,000 employees work in three shifts on the causeway. Drivers who use the causeway pay a BD2.5 or a SR25 fee, but no charges are imposed on passengers, regardless of their numbers.

The highest one-day figure for the number of people crossing the causeway was 105,182 on September 27. On that week, September 21-28, the number of travelers reached 514,773.

Several Saudi Arabia-based Saudi nationals and foreigners who work or study in Bahrain commute daily while a large number of Bahrain-based expatriates and Bahrainis use the causeway daily to go to their work or universities.