Oman’s tender board has approved RO138.9m ($359.7m) worth of projects as part of the 45km Al Batinah South Expressway package.

It includes converting the existing Barka roundabout to multilevel crossroads, while a three lane bridge will be built on each side of Muscat / Sohar to relieve traffic movement. About 7km of road will be doubled between the express road and Barka roundabout.

The project will also include several multilevel crossroads, bridges and culverts to allow travel on the expressway during different weather conditions.

Oman Transport and Communications Minister Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim al Futaisi Dr said the award of the first package of the 45 km-long Al Batinah Expressway is a qualitative leap in the strategy to build road projects, considering that this road is a vital strategic road.

After completion the Al Batinah Expressway will have four lanes in each direction, starting from the end of Muscat Expressway at the wilayat of Barka spanning up to Khatmat Melahah in the wilayat of Shinas.

The road is a continuation of the Muscat Expressway and part of the eighth five-year plan (2011-2015) for the country. Oman expects completion of the Al Batinah Expressway will support the current Al Batinah Dual carriageway.

It will connect Oman to the neighbouring countries facilitating the traffic movement among the regions of the South and North Al Batinah Governorates.

Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has previously awarded the first four packages of the Al Batinah Expressway, involving construction of about 181km of roads.

The last two packages involving construction of 84km will be floated by the tender board later, along with the package for the small connections.

In addition, the tender board has allocated RO9.5m ($24m) for annual maintenance of the dust roads in the A’Dakhiliyah, North and South of the A’Sharqiyah and Musandam regions between 2012 and 2015. The Quriyat / Sur road will receive RO4.1m ($10.8m) for design and construction of protectors.