The Rural Affairs & Municipalities Ministry has awarded three contracts, totalling more than SR 340 million ($90.6 million), for the King Khalid bridge/El-Muayssem road expansion project in Mecca. The project has been designed to alleviate crowd congestion during the annual Hajj.

The main contract, worth SR 163 million ($43.5 million), was won by the local RIO Trading & Contracting Company.Under the terms of the agreement, RIO will be responsible for extending El-Muayssem road by 400 metres and the construction of two 830-metre-long horseshoe-shaped vehicular tunnels.

The tunnel works subcontract has been awarded to RIO STFA Construction Company, a local/Turkish joint venture, in a deal worth SR 97.5 million ($26 million). The tunnelling work must be completed within six months, in time to accept pedestrians for the next Hajj (MEED 30:7:04).

The two other contracts, awarded to unidentified local contractors, cover the construction of an additional 630-metre-long tunnel and an intersection.