The Czech Republic has awarded a $157m (CZK 2.75bn) contract to a consortium led by Swedish firm Skanska, to build a section of highway.

The project involves building a 7km section of the four-lane R48 highway between Rychaltice and Frydek-Mistek, in the north-eastern part of the country.

Work includes building a 160m tunnel, noise barriers and 15 bridges.

Construction will begin at the end of this year and is scheduled to finish in early 2013.

The project is being funded through the national fund for transport infrastructure. Financial support from the EU is also expected.

Skanska’s share in the contract is nearly $80m (CZK 1.4bn).