The major road development projects, being implemented under the ‘Expressway Programme’, are expected to be completed by the end of this year or early next year, however, there is a long list of other shovel-ready projects which will keep creating job opportunities worth billions of riyals for local companies, which will continue until 2030, said a senior official of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
The other infrastructure development projects, such as ‘local areas infrastructure program’ and many other projects related to roads, buildings, and sewage infrastructure, will keep creating massive opportunities for companies over the years beyond 2022.
Under the ambitious expressway development program, Ashghal is overseeing the construction of about 800km of safe and efficient roads through the implementation of over 30 projects divided into 46 contracts. And over 90 percent of them are complete.
“Nearly 90 to 92 percent of the Expressway Programme has been already delivered to date, and the remaining works to be completed by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2021. Now Ashghal’s main concentration is on developing the local roads and drainage program to serve the subdivisions. This program is expected to continue even after the 2022 World Cup, perhaps up to 2030,” Youssef Al Emadi, Director of Projects Affairs at Ashghal told The Peninsula.
Speaking to this newspaper on the sidelines of an event recently Al Emadi, added: “Since there are huge areas and a lot of subdivisions to be covered under this program, we will be doing it on a priority basis.” Asked about the Sharq Crossing project, and the tendering process, he said “it’s too early to talk about that”, adding that there are many projects to be implemented, and as far as subdivisions and other projects are concerned, Ashghal is working on them aggressively.
The Ministry of Finance, in the national budget 2020, has allocated QR90bn for major projects to be spent during the current year. These projects include the re-launch of the ambitious $12-bn Sharq Crossing project, which will be completed over the next four years and expected to create thousands of new jobs directly and indirectly.
The local area infrastructure development program is a nationwide program that includes the development of roads, drainage and new infrastructure in all areas. The program will provide a comprehensive infrastructure for new areas that lack infrastructure facilities, in addition to developing and enhancing existing infrastructure in central and suburban areas. The program will increase the capacity of roads and utility services to meet the requirements of continuous urban development.
Commenting further on infrastructure development in new areas, he said: “The existing houses which are not being served with infrastructure, is being given the top priority. And then the localities which have high water tables and development of infrastructure on for empty lands will be given priority, accordingly.
About restrictions on construction and development activities during the 2022 FIFA games, he said that Ashghal is working in close coordination with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy in terms of which project we shall stop before the games. The unfinished projects, especially surrounding the stadiums and other related facilities, will be stopped, while the works on other projects will continue uninterrupted.