Iraq’s Construction & Housing Ministry and the State Commission for Roads & Bridges has invited companies to bid by 14 February for the upgrade of a major road in Basra province.

The project involves milling the existing asphalt, stabilising sub-base layers, laying pavements, installing guard rails, traffic signs and road marking. The construction is expected to take 16 months to complete.

Iraq has also received a loan valued at about $135m from the International Development Association that will be used to finance the rehabilitation of Road 26, which runs 82 kilometres from Umm Qasr to Al-Zubair. The International Development Association is part of the Washington-based World Bank and helps fund development projects in the poorest countries.

The Umm Qasr-Al-Zubair road project is part of a wider plan known as the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Project (ERRP) that will upgrade the country’s roads and infrastructure. The ERRP involves road rehabilitation works to reduce congestion in urban areas and also improve rural access roads.

The upgrade of the roads will also mean that Iraq’s cross-border links will be improved. Iraq is already spending $60bn over the next five years to rebuild its railway infrastructure (MEED 4:4:10).