Contractors have also been given until 25 August to bid for the contract to build three bridges on the Marrakech-Chichaoua section of the motorway. A consortium of Team Marocand Spain’s Initecas well as the local Conseil Ingenierie Developpement Maroc (CID)have completed studies.

The four main contracts cover:

A 12-kilometre section from Agadir to Ameskroud;

A 32-kilometre segment south from Marrakech;

A 30-kilometre segment south into Chichaoua; and

A 17-kilometre middle section on the Marrakech-Chichaoua route.

ADM will by the end of 2005 issue tenders for the section between Chichaoua and Agadir, crossing the Anti-Atlas mountains. The work is likely to be split into four-five packages, with awards to follow in 2006 (MEED 4:6:04).

A tender will be issued in mid-2006 for the construction of the estimated MD 6,000 ($662 million), 330-kilometre Fez-Oujda highway, with work to begin by the end of next year. The road, which will be the last local section of the trans-Maghreb highway, is due for completion in mid-2010.

Both projects are part of the kingdom’s MD 23,000 million ($2,538 million) motorway programme for 2005-10. The programme is funded by the state social and economic development fund, Fonds Hassan II, and the state budget, both of which will contribute MD 3,600 ($397 million). The balance will come from concessionary loans and government bonds.