Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) plans to award the contracts for phases two and three of Dukhan Highway by the end of the current budget year ending April 2011.

The UK’s Atkins is the consultant of the first phase and Gamuda and WCT Engineering are already working on the 42-kilometre phase one of the road, which runs from Dukhan in the west of Qatar to Doha in the east. This phase has 11 interchanges.

The second phase of the project is Dukhan Central and firms are invited to submit their bids for the construction contract by the end of June.

The 7.5-kilometre third phase of the Dukhan Highway project is Dukhan East and this phase is currently under final negotiations, says Jamal Shareeda al-Kaabi, acting manager design department for roads and drainage at Ashghal during MEED’s Qatar Transport 2010 conference in Doha.

Ashghal also expects to invite firms to bid for the construction contracts for Dukhan East and also for F Ring Road, which runs from New Doha International Airport to the East-West corridor. The authority hopes to award both of these contracts by the end of this budget year.

Qatar has a $20bn plan to modernise its national infrastructure by 2014.

In March, Ashghal awarded a $184m roads contract to a joint venture of Kuwait’s Burhan International Construction and the local International Trading & Contracting (ITC).

The contract covers the construction and maintenance of a network of roads in and around the town of Bani Hajer, 10 kilometres northwest of Doha.