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Sat 28 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

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Thousands move to make way for road

The Omani government has begun relocating thousands of people to make way for the Batinah Coastal Road project, estimated to cost US $965 million (OMR371 million).

The Omani government has begun relocating thousands of people to make way for the Batinah Coastal Road project, estimated to cost US $965 million (OMR371 million).

The project, one of the biggest road developments undertaken by the Omani government, has already attracted interest from local as well as international construction firms keen to bag the contract for the first phase of work.

To date, 33 companies have collected bid documents ahead of next month's deadline for submissions.

Firms include National United Engineering Construction of Dubai, Kayson of Iran, China Railway and Portugal's MonteAndriano Engenharia, as well as others from Canada, Italy, Turkey, India and Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi development company has already been awarded a contract to build 2,200 residential units as part of the massive rehabilitation programme for people, farmland and commercial holdings affected by the project.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is overseeing the 241km-long development. The four-lane dual carriageway will run, for the most part, parallel to the coast of the Gulf of Oman, from Naseem Garden to Khatmat Malaha, on the Sultanate's border with the UAE.

The development will be undertaken in two phases. The first phase covers around 125km of the coastal road, while the remaining 116km will be implemented in phase two.

In addition to constructing the first phase of the dual carriageway, the chosen contractor will build 160km of two-lane service roads and a further 25km of link roads to integrate the carriageway with the existing road network along the Batinah coast.

Construction work for the first phase will begin simultaneously at both ends of the coastal road.

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