Burhan was one of seven groups to submit revised bids for the road upgrade after initial bids for the project, which then included the construction of a viaduct over the Oued Oum Er Rbia, came in over budget. In response, SNAM in May retendered the work in two packages, splitting the road upgrade from the bridge construction. Seven groups bid for the 29-month bridge contract, for which SGTM is the low bidder. The local contractor is expected to sign the viaduct contract at the same time that Burhan signs the 32-month road upgrade.

The contracts form the final packages in the estimated $190 million project to upgrade the 70-kilometre highway between the kingdom’s business capital and the industrial town. A group led by the local El-Hajji undertook the modernisation work on the first stage of the road from Casablanca to Had Soualem. Burhan is working on the 35-kilometre second stage from Had Soualem to Tnine Chtouka. The section is due for completion in mid-2005, and the upgraded highway should be fully operational by 2006 (MEED 10:1:03).