The King Fahd Causeway Authority (KFCA) has announced the completion of a new development project which will increase the bridge’s passenger capacity by 45 per cent.
Following the suspension of passenger travel in March, major renovation works have been completed including the introduction of new gates on the Saudi side and dedicated e-Payment lanes to facilitate processing of the bridge toll on both sides.
The project comes as a part of efforts aimed at increasing the capacity of the causeway that connects the two Kingdoms and bears considerable economic importance for both countries, particularly for their tourism sectors. Analysis of tourism data for 2019 shows that Bahrain welcomed 11.1 million visitors last year, of which 9.7 million (88 per cent) arrived via the King Fahd Causeway.
It was recently announced that Bahrain Customs has installed high-tech artificial intelligence scanners at the King Fahd Causeway, automating data collection and allowing shipment inspections to take place before reaching the border. This has greatly increased both the speed and capacity for processing as demonstrated by a 15 per cent growth in trade between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of this year.
King Fahd Causeway was opened in 1986, and today it is one of the busiest land border crossings in the Middle East with an estimated 390 million passengers having used the bridge since its opening. In spite of the global spread of coronavirus, the commercial shipping of necessary goods across King Fahd Causeway has continued.