Qatar-Bahrain Bridge Talks Center on Train Usage, Contractor Vinci Says

Vinci SA, the world’s largest builder, said that talks to build a 40-kilometer (25-mile) bridge between Qatar and Bahrain are continuing as the parties consider rail usage of the span.

“There are discussion about the type of train, which is extending talks,” Vanessa Lattes, a Vinci spokeswoman, said today. Her comments came after Gulf Daily News, citing unidentified people, reported that the two countries put the project on hold because of rising costs.

Work on the bridge project is progressing, the Bahrain News Agency said, citing Finance Ministry Undersecretary Arif Saleh Khamees. A Vinci team is still at the site, though part of it has been redeployed to work on other projects, Lattes said.

The contract, won by a group that includes Vinci, state- owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. and Germany’s Hochtief AG, is worth $3 billion, Vinci said in 2008. Construction would be completed in 51 months, the French company said at the time. The plan to include rail was added after the contract was awarded, Lattes said.

The bridge will include 18 kilometers of roadway on embankments in areas where the water is shallow, and 22 kilometers of viaducts and bridges over deep water. That will make it slightly longer than the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, a similar mix of spans that totals about 24 miles.

To contact the reporters on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net; Inal Ersan in Dubai at iersan@bloomberg.net

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