|Photo by: A. Pick May 2013|
View of the Mubarak Peace Bridge as the Mariner of the Seas passes underneath.
As if travel along the Suez Canal wasn't enough we got to experience a rather unique view of the bridge that links the continents of Africa and Eurasia. This bridge was constructed with the financial help of the Japanese government which provided a grant to cover sixty percent of the costs.
"The Suez Canal Bridge, also known as the Mubarak Peace Bridge, or the Egyptian-Japanese Friendship Bridge, is a cable-stayed road bridge crossing the Suez Canal at El Qantara. The Arabic term "al qantara" means "the bridge". It was built with assistance from the Japanese government. The contractor was PentaOcean Construction.
The construction cost of the bridge was US$195,000,000. The Japanese grant, accounting for 60% of the construction cost (or $117,000,000), was agreed to during the visit of President Hosni Mubarak to Japan in 1995, as part of a larger project to develop the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt bore the remaining 40% ($78,000,000). The bridge opened in October 2001.
The bridge, which is 3.9 kilometres long, consists of a 400-metre cable stayed main span and two 1.8km long approach bridges. The height of the two main pylons supporting the main span is 154m each. They are designed in the shape of Pharaonic obelisks. The clearance under the bridge is 70 metres, which defines, therefore, the maximum height above the waterline (Suezmax) of ships that can pass through the Suez Canal."