Iraq’s State Commission for Roads & Bridges (SCRB) has extended the deadline to 28 February for companies to submit bids for the rehabilitation of a major road in Basra province.

The initial deadline was 14 February. Road 26 will be upgraded to become an 82-kilometre main road that will run between Umm Qasr port and the smaller port of Al-Zubair.

SCRB together with the Construction and Housing Ministry is the client on the project, which involves milling of existing asphalt layers, stabilisation of sub-base layers, laying pavements and installing guard rails and traffic signs.

The work is expected to take 16 months to complete. The Washington-headquartered World Bank is financing the road project.

The new road will help improve the infrastructure around Basra port and the planned Grand Faw port until the new channel at Grand Faw port is constructed, says a source at SCRB.

The $6bn Grand Faw port is being developed in two phases and the first construction contract is due to go to tender at the end of 2011.

The port is designed to include 7,000 metres of dock for container ships and an additional 3,500 metres of dock for general cargo.  The port will be 17 metres deep, allowing it to receive some of the world’s largest cargo ships.

An Italian consortium led by Impregilo is carrying out the design of the port (MEED 11:4:10).