09/02/2014 13:51 AST

Well-known infrastructure contractors Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Oman and Khalid bin Ahmed & Sons LLC (KAS Constructions) are understood to have won Section 2 of the prestigious Bidbid-Sur triple-lane dual carriageway project announced here late last week. While L&T Oman is said to have scooped Section 2A — a roughly 76km stretch valued at RO 98.3 million, KAS Constructions is known to have landed Section 2B — a 56km stretch valued at RO 91.3 million. The two contractors will simultaneous execute their respective segments totalling around 132 kilometres in length and amounting to RO 189.8 million in value. With the award of the contracts, construction work on the outstanding segments of one of Oman’s biggest and most complex road undertakings is set to finally get underway.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is overseeing the implementation of the massive 250km upgrade in line with His Majesty the Sultan’s Royal directives for the multi-laning of this vital carriageway, which links Muscat Governorate with major wilayats in the Sharqiyah North and South governorates. A decision to add a third lane on either side of the dual road has swelled the total cost of the project to around RO 432 million ($1.120 billion), effectively placing the Bidbid-Sur triple-lane project among the country’s most expensive road-building ventures. Given the size of the project, the rugged terrain through which much of the new alignment runs, and the necessity to execute the venture within budget and on time, the project was structured for implementation in two key sections. Section 1, comprising in turn segments 1A and 1B, is already under implementation.

A joint venture of Italy-based international construction firm Astaldi and Turkish contractor Ozkar Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret AS is undertaking the triple-laning of a 40km stretch from Sarur in Samayil wilayat to Wadi al Aqq. This stretch, representing Section IA of the 250km-long project, is valued at RO 125.231 million. Section 1B is being implemented by the joint venture of Turkey’s STFA and UAE-based Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG). The 75km stretch, valued at RO 117 million, takes the dualised carriageway all the way to Ibra. Sections 2A and 2B, awarded last week, cover the remainder 132km stretch from Ibra to Sur. As the successful contractor for Section 2A, L&T Oman will the constructing a 76km six-lane dual road from where the STFA/HLG joint venture’s segment (1B) ends just beyond Ibra town. This segment, which primarily traverses flat terrain, will end at Al Kamil.

Also as part of its brief, the contractor will construct a total of 10 arch-type interchange bridges, five vehicle underpasses, 7 single-cell pedestrian underpasses, and 15 kilometres of linked and service roads along the route. For its part, KAS Constructions will build the remaining 56km stretch (2B) from Al Kamil to a point near Sur Hospital, which marks the southern end of the Bidbid-Sur carriageway project. Given the undulating terrain through which part of the alignment runs, the contractor will also construct four interchanges and a similar number of wadi bridges. Implementation timeframes for both segments are 36 months (excluding two months mobilisation). When completed, tentatively by the year 2017, the upgrade will transform the present largely single-lane carriageway into an international-class, all-weather motorway with a design speed of 120 kilometres per hour.

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Oman Daily Observer

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