Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has extended the tender closing date for the contract to upgrade the Bidbid to Sur road to 31 December.

The original closing date was 5 November when tenders were first issued to contractors in September.

The road between Bidbid and Sur is a major transport link in the sultanate, connecting the capital city of Muscat to the Sharqiyah region in the north-eastern part of Oman.

This is the third construction package to be tendered on the road scheme.

In February 2011, the Transport and Communications Ministry awarded a joint venture of Italy’s Astaldi and Turkey’s Ozkar Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret a OR125.2m ($325m) contract to build the phase 1a of the dual carriageway between Bidbid and Sur.

In August 2011, a joint venture of Turkey’s Sezai Turkes-Feyzi Akkaya (STFA) and the UAE/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group was awarded the OR117m contract for phase 1b of the road scheme.

The phase 1b contract involves upgrading a 75-kilometre stretch of road that will be expanded from the existing two-lane carriageway into a four-lane carriageway. The scope also involves building 50km of service road and nine interchanges.