Despite earlier cautions by environmentalists to conduct proper scientific studies before commencing building, plans for the King Abdullah Bridge, which would link Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are moving forward.
Last week, in response to calls by President Mohamed Morsy, the Saudi Binladin Group announced it was willing to fund the US$3 billion project in cooperation with Egypt’s state-owned Arab Contractors.
The project, which has been in discussion since 1988, is being hailed by Morsy as an opportunity to bolster the region’s economies through increased trade. But the environmental, social and economic impacts, if not accounted for beforehand, will be much more costly in the long term.
The 32-kilometer causeway would link Sharm el-Sheikh with Ras Hamid, near Tabuk, in Saudi Arabia, passing through the ecologically significant Straits of Tiran.