One of the longest bridges in the world and most popular attractions in Saudi Arabia is the King Fahd Causeway. It is a causeway built to link the eastern part of Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. The bridge is built to improve the relationship and bonds between the two brotherly countries. At present, many travellers use the bridge as it made travelling to Bahrain from Saudi Arabia and vice versa convenient.
The causeway was carefully studied and surveyed in 1968, after King Saud wished for it during his official visit to Bahrain in 1954. After the opinions and help from various sectors, including the World Bank were finalized, the construction began in 1981. It was after five years when the construction of the bridge was completed. It opened to the public at the end of the year 1986.
The construction of the King Fahd Causeway was financed entirely by Saudi Arabia. It amounted to SAR 3 billion or 800 million USD. Major contractors who held the project, such as the Ballast Nedam, used 350,000 m3 of concrete together with 47,000 metric tons of steel.
The King Fahad Causeway is undoubtedly one of the most unbelievable constructions of man. Its impressive 82,000 ft length stretches from the eastern region of Saudi to Bahrain on top of the dark blue sea. It is a four-lane road of 75 ft wide. Two lanes are provided for travellers going out of Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, while the other two lanes for people entering Saudi from Bahrain.
If you think King Fahd Causeway is just a long road connecting two brotherly countries, then think again. It could have cost cheaper if it is only a long, boring bridge. This astounding causeway has a total of seven embankments of which embankment no.4 is the biggest with 660,000 square meters total area. This is where the boarder station is located. The border station, which is designed like two connected islands, does not only serve as the boundary of the two countries but also a good place for travellers to stop over, eat, pray, or rest. The border station has two towering restaurants (65 meter high) for people who want to stop over and grab something to eat. Some food chains you can find are McDonalds and Kudu. Two mosques are there for Muslims who want to say their prayer. The King Fahad Causeway Authority, who is in-charge with the operations of the bridge, also has their buildings erected on the border station together with the two coastal guard towers. The overall look of the border station is very pleasing as the island is perfectly landscaped from one corner to another.
There were plans about improving the bridge in July 2010. According to Saudi newspapers, the chief of the King Fahd Causeway Authority, Bader Abdullah Al-Otaishan, said that there are plans of getting the bridge under a major expansion, wherein grocery stores, coffee shops, and more restaurants will be added at the border station. The project amounts to 5.3 million USD. However, Bahrain has not decided on it yet, only Saudi Arabia.