Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has awarded two design and construction contracts worth a total of QR10.4bn ($2.86bn) for the second phase of the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route project under its Expressway Programme.

The first contract, valued at QR4.2bn, was awarded to a joint venture of the local QDVC and Bin Omran for the design and construction of the route from Salwa Road to North Relief Road. The project entails five lanes and two truck lanes in each direction, with the provision of two future lanes.

The second contract, valued at QR6.2bn, was awarded to the joint venture of Habtoor Leighton Group and Aljaber Engineering for the design and construction of Mesaieed to Salwa Road. The project will provide an orbital route of about five lanes and two separated truck lanes in each direction, also with the provision of two future lanes.

The New Orbital Highway and Truck Route is one of the largest projects being delivered through Ashghal’s Expressway Programme, which will link the Mesaieed area to Al Khor and Ras Laffan Industrial City.

The project is considered to be a vital addition to the roads network of Qatar as it will form a free-flowing traffic route connecting Qatar’s northern and southern regions without the need to travel through Doha city. This will divert traffic outside the city, particularly trucks, and better manage heavy vehicles movement throughout the city providing greater journey choice.

The Orbital Highway Project and Truck Route will encompass the design and construction of approximately 200 kilometres of dual carriageway including 22 major intersections of bridges and tunnels. Major infrastructure improvements will be implemented as part of the project, including a storm water drainage network, treated sewage effluent networks, electrical and telecommunication networks, street lighting and substations.

In January, Ashghal awarded a QR3.2bn contract to a joint-venture of Cyprus-based J&P (Joannou & Paraskevaides) Overseas and Greece’s J&P Avax for the design and construction of the first phase of the orbital road project. The contract includes about 45km of road network and represents 25 per cent of the scheme.

Earlier in March, Ashghal awarded a $600m contract to India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the design and construction of the Al-Wakrah bypass road in Doha. The scope of work for the contract entails construction of a 110km road consisting of 10 lanes and four future lane sections, with additional collectors/distributor roads, frontage roads and ramps.

In 2013, Ashghal awarded $3.2bn-worth of contracts under its Expressway Programme, which consists of 4,800km of roads and 157 grade-separated intersections, according to Tahir Hanif, project control specialist at Ashghal. Speaking at MEED’s Qatar Projects conference on 18 March, Hanif said the programme comprises 32 major projects, which is further broken down into 49 construction contracts, with a further $5.3bn-worth of work under tender.