The Ministry of Transport & Communications has invited bids by 29 November for three major road building contracts, calling for construction of highways between Thumrait and Marmul, Marmul, Shaleem and Sawqirah, and Shaleem and Shuwaymiya.The Thumrait-Marmul single carriageway will stretch for 86.6 kilometres, starting at the Salalah-Muscat road and ending at the Andur junction. The duration of the contract is two years. The 125-kilometre, single-carriageway Marmul-Shaleem-Sawqirah road, in the Dhofar governorate, will link several remote communities and oil fields. The 30-month contract includes the construction of a 15-kilometre link to Sharbithat. The third, 18-month, contract entails building a 40-kilometre link between Shaleem and Shuwaymiya and construction of internal roads in both locations. The contracts are among numerous road projects in progress in the sultanate. The bid deadline has been extended to 25 October on one of the largest, to build a 56-kilometre partial ring-road – known as the southern expressway – around Muscat. About 10 companies are understood to have been prequalified for the estimated RO 60 million ($154 million) contract. The US’ Parsons Internationalis the consultant (MEED 17:9:04).