Abr beat off competition from six other local firms for the contract, which covers the widening of the existing 250-kilometre expressway. The work will take two years to complete. The local Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami), which completed the design work, is also reviewing designs for the upgrade of the Sharm-Haqil highway in the north.

Italy’s Italconsult has been selected as consultant for a second expressway linking Tabuk and Medina. The project calls for the construction of a six-lane expressway with interchanges and associated works.

Italconsult has also been selected to design a new coastal highway stretching about 250 kilometres from Dhahran to the Qatari border.

The local joint venture of Nasser Huza with Abdul Ali al-Ajmi Company is the low bidder on the estimated SR 2,800 million ($746 million) contract to build a motorway in the Eastern Province. The local Shibh al-Jazira Contracting Company was second lowest at SR 2,900 million ($773 million).

The 570-kilometre highway calls for the construction of a two-lane dual-carriageway linking Batha to Shaybah and Umm al-Zumour on the Omani border. The ministry is considering retendering the project after prices came in above budget. Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) is the consultant.