Seven international contractors priced the Salwa contract. The low bidder, United Engineers, offered four prices, ranging from QR 893 million ($245 million) up to QR 921 million ($253 million). It was followed by Turkey’s Dogusat QR 957 million ($263 million) and the UAE’s Al-Jaber Engineering & Constructionat QR 974 million ($267 million).

The upgrade involves the reconstruction of a 95-kilometre stretch of highway and its expansion into an eight-lane expressway with hard shoulders, collector roads and several interchanges. The designs have been prepared by the US’ De Leuw Cather International.

The ministry issued the latest element in the primary routes programmes for prequalification – the Doha expressway project – in late August. Contractors have been given until 30 October to submit prequalifications for the design and build contract.

The 50-kilometre Doha expressway centres on the construction of a six and eight-lane highway that will begin at Mesaieed, pass through Wakra and intersect with the D, E and F ring roads in Doha, before linking up with the North highway. In addition to the construction of the highway, the successful bidder will build grade separated interchanges, bridges and underpasses. The consultant on the estimated $365 million project is De Leuw Cather.

Prequalifications are also due to close in late September for two other contracts on the programme. These are:

the Dukhan highway. The estimated $190 million scheme involves the upgrade of 80 kilometres of existing road into a four-lane dual carriageway with grade separated interchanges. The consultant is the UK’s WS Atkins International

the North highway. The estimated $330 million project calls for the upgrade of 150 kilometres of road. The consultant is the Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners)

Contracts totalling QR 363 million ($99.7 million) were awarded on 11 August to Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas)for the Salwa interchange and immigration interchange schemes.