The Iraqi government expects to spend $5.811bn on maintaining and building new roads, expressways and bridges between 2012-15.

“Roads and bridges are needed for construction and supplying materials to Iraq,” said Istabraq Ibraheem al-Shouk, senior deputy to the construction and housing minister, at MEED’s Iraq Infrastructure Projects 2011 conference in Istanbul.

He added that about $950m will be spent on the construction of about 200 kilometres of new expressway, while a further $1.1bn will be spent on maintaining 1,200km of existing expressways. The government will also spend $2.06bn on 4,510km of new highways and $400m on maintaining 1,600km of existing roads. For bridges, the government plans to spend $1.1bn building 97 new structures and $100m will be spent maintaining 20 existing bridges.

Iraq currently has 53,247km of roads and 1,200 bridges. This is eventually expected to be expanded by 7,000km of new roads and 500 new bridges.

The projects will be part of a transport masterplan and road asset management study that will be conducted in 2012.