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Bab-el-Mandeb area.

The Bridge of the Horns is a proposed construction project to build a bridge between the coasts of Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It will be constructed by Noor City Development Corporation, and the notice-to-proceed was issued by Middle East Development LLC, which is headed by Tarek bin Laden, a half brother of Osama bin Laden.

Contents

Prospective structure

The length would be about 29 km (18 mi) and the estimated price tag is about US$20 billion. It has been proposed by a Dubai-based firm headed by Tarek bin Laden. Opening date is expected to be in the year 2020.

To clear submarine and surface vessels, the proposed bridge will have the longest suspension span in the world measuring 3.1 miles. The overall length of the entire bridge spanning the Red Sea, starting in Yemen, connecting to the island of Perim, and continuing on to Djibouti on the African continent, is expected to be roughly 28.5 km (18 miles). It must allow very large ships of the Suezmax size in both directions simulaneously.

It is expected that about 100,000 cars and 50,000 rail passengers will cross the bridge daily.[1]

Expected use

Two twin cities - named Al Noor City - will be built on either end of the bridge and the developers state that they will run on renewable energy. On the Djibouti side, President Ismael Omar Guelleh has granted 500 km2 (193 sq miles) to build Noor City, the first of the hundreds of Cities of Light the Saudi Binladen Group envisions building. The developers state that they expect Noor City to have 2.5 million residents by 2025, and the Yemeni twin city to have 4.5 million, while they envision a new airport serving both cities at a capacity of 100 million passengers annually. A new highway connecting the cities to Dubai is proposed, though there are no plans for roads to connect sparsely populated Djibouti with the population centers of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia or Khartoum in Sudan. The Economist magazine, noting that developers state that the project will make Noor City the "financial, educational, and medical hub of Africa", commented, "Africans may wonder why the hub is not being built in a bit of Africa where more Africans live and which has food and water."[2]

One of the uses that are imagined for this bridge is for easy, transcontinental access to the Hajj in Mecca.

Timeline

2009
Planned start[3]
July - Construction begun [4]
2009 - December
Yemen-Djibouti bridge gets go-ahead [5]
2020
Planned end of construction [6]

See also

References

External links

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