Contract 1 calls for the construction of 23 kilometres of highway at the 45-68-kilometre mark, while the second contract will see construction of 22 kilometres between the 68-90-kilometre mark. The first phase is expected to take 36 months to complete with phase 2 scheduled to take 41 months. A further two packages may be issued for tender at a later stage. Work is expected to begin in September.

The scope of works includes bridges, underpasses, tunnels and access slip roads to ensure uninterrupted traffic. Construction will also include a new tunnel cutting into the Hajar mountains in the Dhaid vicinity. Each contract is estimated at $70 million-$100 million.

When the MPWH originally tendered the project in 2003, it comprised three contracts. The local Al-Muhairy General Contracting Companyhad submitted the lowest bid on two phases, while the local Wade Adams Contractingwas the lowest bid for the third.

Other prospective bidders for the new contracts include the local/Cypriot J&P National Wheel, Bin Hafeez General Contracting & Transport Establishmentand Darwish Engineering Company, both local. The consultant is the local Al-Turath Consultantswith the US’ Wilbur Smith & Associates.