South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company is frontrunner to win the contract to build the estimated $1bn first package on the Lusail Expressway project in Doha.

Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) received bids from at least seven international contractors in August last year. No contract has been signed between Ashghal and Hyundai yet, but the deal is expected to be finalised by the middle of June.

Other companies that submitted bids for the project include:

The first package of the Lusail Expressway project will run from the Arch roundabout to the area surrounding the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Doha. It will be 5.8 kilometres in length and will have about 16 lanes, some of which will be two or three levels. The expressway will also include three major interchanges, slip roads, underpasses and bicycle lanes. Construction work will take 36 months to complete.

The expressway project will also have a second phase, which is yet to be tendered. The second package will run beside the Lusail Mixed-use Development and then on to the Pearl real-estate development. Construction work on the second phase is scheduled to begin in August 2013.

The Lusail Expressway is a key project for Qatar’s World Cup plans. The Lusail development will accommodate the Lusail Iconic stadium, the largest planned sports arena for the event, which will have the capacity to hold more than 80,000 people.

In addition to the Lusail Expressway, the Lusail City development will also be linked to the centre of Doha by the planned $6bn Doha Bay Crossing. The Doha Bay Crossing will connect the Lusail development, West Bay and the New Doha International Airport, which is scheduled to open later in 2012, through a mixture of both tunnels and bridges.

Qatar is planning to spend $20bn on new roads and related drainage and infrastructure in the next five years.