The National Highways Authority (NHA) has announced a road building programme the estimated cost of which is $4,017 million. The authority has invited companies to submit expressions of interest in developing eight major roads and a road and rail bridge (see Tenders). Companies would be expected to finance, design, construct and operate the roads.

The proposed roads to be developed are:

Lahore-Faisalabad motorway – four lanes, 99 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 10,241 million ($255 million)

Sheikhupura-Faisalabad-Multan motorway – four lanes, 405 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 52,095 million ($1,300 million)

Karachi-Dureji-Kakar expressway – two lanes (phase one), four lanes (phase two), 341 kilometres, estimated cost of first phase Rs 14,260 million ($356 million)

Gwadar-Ratodero motorway – two lanes, 885 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 24,234 million ($605 million)

Peshawar-Torkhum expressway – four lanes, 46 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 2,333 million ($58 million)

Islamabad-Murree expressway – four lanes, 42 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 2,300 million ($57 million)

Makran coastal road – two lanes, 653 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 34,094 million ($851 million)

additional carriageway on Hasanabadal-Abbottabad road – 83 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 2,386 million ($60 million)

Mithankot rail and road bridge – 1.5 kilometres, estimated cost Rs 19,019 million ($475 million)

The NHA says that prequalification bids must be received by 12 May. It expects to issue details of the projects to prequalified companies by the end of May. The timing of construction would be dependent on the proposals submitted by the private companies. However, it is hoped that work on the first roads can be started by the end of the year. Industry sources say that the NHA may not be able to attract sufficient interest to implement all the projects at the same time.

The NHA has extended the deadline for proposals for the Islamabad-Rawalpindi expressway to 31 July. A consortium led by Singapore’s L&M International has been added to the original prequalification list which comprised South Korea’s Daewoo Corporation, Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) and Malaysia’s Antah (MEED 21:3:97).