The US’ Parsons International has been awarded a contract by Oman’s Transport and Communications Directorate General of Roads and Land Transport to provide design and construction supervision services for the dualisation of the Nizwa-Thumrait road.

Parsons will provide alignment and traffic studies and will provide preliminary and detailed designs for the road scheme. The work will also involve preparing tender documents and supervising construction of the road project.

The project involves the conversion of the existing 715-kilometre-long single carriageway between Nizwa and Thumrait into a dual highway. The project is part of the government’s programme to upgrade road links throughout the sultanate.

Another planned major road project, currently in the tendering stage, is the 265km Batinah Expressway project.

The Batinah Expressway will extend from the current Muscat Expressway to Khamat Malaha, located on the Oman/UAE border. The road will run parallel to the existing Batinah highway.

In May, the Transport and Communications Ministry received bids for the third phase of the expressway project. Indian contractor Simplex Infrastructures submitted the low bid of RO116m ($300m), which was 6.8 per cent lower than the RO124.4m bid submitted by the joint-second lowest bidders, Turkey’s Makyol Gulf and the local Oman Roads Engineering Company. The local Khalid bin Ahmed & Sons submitted the marginally higher bid of RO124.5m. This was followed by the RO125m price submitted by Turkish contractor Sezai Turkes.

The ministry recently invited contractors to submit bids for the fifth and sixth packages on the road scheme.