An Astaldi Group-led consortium has won a contract for the construction of a 421km highway in Turkey.

Work will involve construction and operation of the Gebze-Izmir highway and a suspended bridge over the Izmit Bay.

The project, worth $6.5bn, will begin next year and completion is scheduled for 2017.

The new highway will cut the travel time between Gebze in Istanbul and Izmir by 50%.

The consortium includes Turkish construction firms Nurol, Ozaltin, Makyol, Yuksel and Gokcay. Asaltdi’s share in the JV is 15.75%.

Astaldi Group is an Italy-based construction company.