March’s top stories: EIB supports A11 Belgium motorway link, Alberta invests in highways

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to extend its financial aid for the 12km A11 motorway link between Brugge and Westkapelle in Belgium, while Alberta will invest C$5bn ($4.46bn) over the next three years to rehabilitate the highway network. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March.


EIB

EIB to support A11 motorway scheme in Belgium

EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will extend financial support to the construction of a 12km A11 motorway link connecting Brugge and Westkapelle in Belgium, under the EC-EIB Project Bond Initiative.

The A11 motorway will provide a direct link between the port of Zeebrugge and Europe's motorway network.

The existing stretch witnesses heavy traffic, meaning delayed access to freight traffic to Zeebrugge and the Belgian coast.

Alberta to invest in highway network improvement projects

Alberta

The Government of Alberta in Canada is set to invest C$5bn ($4.46bn) over the next three years to expand and rehabilitate the highway network in the northern parts of the province.

As part of the three-year construction programme, over 2,500km of existing provincial highways, mostly in the northern regions, will undergo rehabilitation.

Alberta transportation minister Wayne Drysdale said: "We recognise the importance of northern Alberta to our local, provincial and federal economies."

HLG JV secures $1.7bn New Orbital Highway Project in Qatar

A Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) and Al Jaber Engineering joint venture was awarded a QAR6.15bn ($1.7bn) contract by Qatar's Public Works Authority, Ashghal.

The contract covers the design and construction of the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route (P023), near Doha.

Package three of the urban infrastructure project links the Mesaieed industrial area and New Port Project site to Salwa Road.

Volvo Cars to pilot cloud-based communication to improve driver safety

Volvo

Volvo Cars partnered with the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Statens Vegvesen, to begin a pilot project to share road friction information from individual cars in a cloud-based system.

The real-time information on slippery patches on the roads will warn vehicles nearby, while contributing to the efficient winter-road maintenance.

Volvo Cars cooperative intelligent transport system project leader Erik Israelsson said: "The pilot is one of the first practical examples of the way communication between vehicles over the mobile network enables vehicles to 'speak' to each other and with the traffic environment."

China Merchants Group to build $1bn expressway in Sri Lanka

China Merchants Group secured a contract to construct a $1bn expressway in Sri Lanka, and work on the new northern section is expected to begin this year.

The largest highway scheme by the Sri Lankan Government to date, the new project will connect the former war-torn north region through the tourist area of Kandy to Colombo.

The first phase will involve building of five interchanges, 50 overpasses and 30 underpasses. The completed highway is expected to be nearly 300km long.

India approves major expressway project in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh

India is to begin a new Rs62.84bn ($1bn) project to increase the Eastern Peripheral Expressway of National Highway Number NE-II to six lanes in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The total cost of the project includes the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation, and other pre-construction activities.

It covers the districts of Sonepat, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Baghpat, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

L&T wins Al Wakrah Bypass Road project in Qatar

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Construction's Transportation Infrastructure Business division has secured the Al Wakrah Bypass Road project, worth Rs36.55bn ($597.5m) from Ashghal, the Public Works Authority of Qatar.

Scheduled to be completed in 32 months, it includes the construction of a 11km-long road comprising ten lanes and four future lane sections with additional collectors and distributor roads, frontage roads and ramps.

The freeway will offer access to the existing and planned developments through five major interchanges consisting of 20 bridges, 13 bicycle overpasses, eight vehicular underpasses, three pedestrian bridges and 736m long and 32m wide vehicular tunnel works.

Transport for London to trial intelligent pedestrian crossing technology

Transport for London (TfL) announced plans to begin the trials of smart pedestrian crossing sensors from the second quarter of this year.

The sensors are aimed at making it easier and safer for people to cross roads throughout the capital.

The new Pedestrian Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (pedestrian SCOOT) is a video camera technology that automatically detects the number of pedestrians waiting at crossings.

This allows authorities to adjust the timing of traffic signals automatically in order to extend the green pedestrian signal to cross phase when more people are waiting to cross the road.