02 August 2008

Al Noor ~ Bold Djibouti-Yemen Gigaprojects!

Saudi-Yemeni construction magnate Sheikh Tarek Mohammed bin Laden is the prime backer of an enormously exciting gigaproject bridging the Bab al-Mandib Straits between Djibouti and Yemen and building Al Noor Cities -- Cities of Light -- on both coasts... There are skeptics, including Arabian Business which writes both A Bridge Too Far? and Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Sean Cronin. The Economist asks Can it really be bridged? pointing out...
Construction is supposed to begin next year, after the terms of sovereignty for the tax-free metropolises have been agreed. By 2025 [...] Djibouti’s Noor City will have 2.5m people and its Yemeni twin 4.5m. Several million jobs will be created. An airport serving both cities will, he says, attract 100m passengers a year. A 29km bridge across the strait will connect Arabia and Africa by road, rail and pipelines, its towers among the tallest on earth. The cost? A mere $200 billion or so.
The compelling thing about this gigaproject is that this opens the agricultural hinterlands of Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and elsewhere in Africa to efficient transportation and metrohubs and simultaneously linking to the Saudi gigaprojects and Saudi and GCC road-and-rail infrastructure developments on the Arabian peninsula.


ChinaCubby said...

I am also told this news by Chinese Newspaper recently, very good project indeed! I am very interested in the bridge construction, so I was impatient to compare Al Noor Bridge with the bridges completed just this year in China when I knew this news.

As I know the AI Noor Bridge is a cable suspension bridge, 29km in length. As for its scope and location, I don't think it is difficult to construct technically. Obviously this is a preliminary thinking because I have no more information in details on it.

I am ever involved in the construction of Su-Tong Yangtze River Bridge and Hangzhou Bay Sea-link Bridge.

Hangzhou Bay Sea-Link Bridge is 36km in length, but it is a cable-stayed bridge; Su-Tong Yangtze River Bridge,also cable-stayed, has created 4 global records with tallest tower 300.6m, 577m cable, 1088m main span and group piles foundation big as a football field.

Also we have several experiences in suspension bridge construction across the Yangtze River, they are not larger than Al Noor Bridge in scope.

Hope AI Noor Bridge start construction early and also creat global record in construction.

Unknown said...

Has anyone discussed the problem that this new bridge crosses a large tectonic fault line?

Joost Bonsen said...

Across a tectonic zone? You mean like the Golden Gate in SF next to the San Andreas Fault? Or the massive bridges connecting the Japanese islands -- the hot edge of the Pacific "Rim of Fire"? I think this is an engineering challenge that can be dealt with.