The Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway (SKBSH) is one of the most important arterial roads in the Kingdom, as it connects Manama, Hamad Town and the southern governorate. The SKBSH and Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Highway (SIBSH) widening and improving of the intersections, included enhancing the existing interchanges and adding new interchanges – both were necessary to augment capacity, relieve congestion, resolve accessibility and connectivity, and to cater for traffic demands through to 2030.
This project spanned approximately 23.5 kilometres and consisted of 12 junctions, including a new left turn flyover at the Saar Interchange. It consisted of widening the existing carriageway to four-lanes, as well as the milling and reprofiling of the existing, and provision of new shoulders.
The flyover bridge was approximately 800 metres long, with a width of section being 13.45 metres and carrying two lanes of 3.75 metres, and an outer shoulder of three metres and an inner shoulder of 1.96 metres. The bridge was built with the incremental launching construction method. The bridge was launched from one abutment on a tight combined horizontal and vertical curve.
BG&E provided the design and delivery of the bridges and the detailed design of the SKBSH flyover at the Saar Interchange. This is the first time that a bridge has been built in Bahrain using the incrementally launched construction method – which is the most significant engineering achievement of the project.
BG&E’s well-deserved reputation for technical excellence and innovation in bridge engineering, including the incrementally launched construction method for the flyover at the Saar Interchange because it provided optimal advantages compared to conventional construction – including creating minimal disturbance to surroundings, a more concentrated work area for superstructure assembly, and increased worker safety given the improved erection environment. This method is highly mechanised and uses pre-stressed concrete.
This significant innovation and engineering hallmark of the project provided optimal advantages compared to conventional construction – including creating minimal disturbance to surroundings, a more concentrated work area for superstructure assembly, and increased worker safety given the improved erection environment.
The detailed design and delivery of flyover at the Saar Interchange was undertaken without traffic closures, which was the primary benefit of the delivery and the least disruptive for the community.
Equally as important are the social and environmental aspects of this project, which included helping to preserve the cultural heritage through improved connectivity of communities and protecting the natural environment through the robust and integrated planning regulations for transport networks and land development, coupled with reduced pollution and improvements in safety.
The fourth lane of the project also includes a new two and a half-kilometre rainwater drainage network, and considerably improved lighting which also translated to greatly enhanced safety.
Following the implementation of this project, the vehicle capacity has increased from 900 vehicles per hour to a staggering 3,600 vehicles per hour, with vastly reduced congestion at bottlenecks. The traffic volume has increased to 173,000 vehicles per day in both directions.
The Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning (in the Kingdom of Bahrain) and BG&E are galvanised a shared commitment to utilising the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Ranking as a key measure of success.
Out of 300 projects from across the Middle East and North African region, the work on the design and delivery of the SKBSH and SIBSH upgrade was recognised by MEED as “a true benchmark for quality and excellence,” winning the MEED National Award 2021.