The local office of Australia’s Aurecon is the frontrunner for the contract to prepare a new strategic transport masterplan for Dubai.

The study, which will be prepared for the emirate’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), covers all forms of transport in the emirate, including road, rail and water, for 2020 and beyond.

The previous transport masterplan for Dubai, known as R1,000, was completed by South Africa’s Africon and the local Al-Burj Engineering Consultants in 2006. Africon later became part of Aurecon.

The other bidders for the study are:

Earlier this year, the RTA appointed US-based Parsons to prepare plans for future road and transport projects in Dubai’s central business district, from the Sharjah border in the north to Port Rashid in the south and inland as far as Ras al-Khor.

The plans will include four new creek crossings. These will comprise the sixth crossing, the Sheraton bridge, an as-yet unnamed permanent structure that will replace the existing floating bridge, and a new crossing in the Shindagha area. The study will also consider introducing new Salik toll gates to ease congestion in the area.

For construction work, the RTA recently awarded Turkey’s Gunal the estimated AED680m ($185m) deal to build the first phase of the Dubai Water Canal project, which involves the road bridge taking Sheikh Zayed Road across the canal.

Prices for the contract were submitted in mid-September. The other bidders were the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) and a joint venture of the local Wade Adams and the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty.

The consultant is the US’ Parsons International.