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'Desert Highway project 60% complete'

Ministry of Public Works and Housing expects works to be completed by mid-2020

By JT - Sep 15,2019 - Last updated at Sep 15,2019

The Desert Highway is a vital route for the Kingdom, being the main highway leading to Aqaba’s port and connecting the Kingdom with Saudi Arabia (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Public Works and Housing said on Friday that 60 per cent of the Desert Highway project has been completed.

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the ministry's spokesperson Omar Maharmeh said that the Desert Highway's maintenance project is progressing according to timetable, expecting works on the vital route to be completed in the middle of 2020, "three months before the deadline". 

Maharmeh said that the total cost of the project stands at $324 million, $138 million of which was a grant from the Saudi Fund for Development and $105 million a loan from the fund, while the remaining cost will be covered by the government.

The government signed the Desert Highway Road tenders in July 2018, according to which the construction should be implemented over 20 months, in addition to detours ranging between five to six kilometres each.

The project includes renovating the entire road by removing all asphalt layers and building a new highway with three lanes on each side, with the third lane designated for heavy vehicles.

The Desert Highway is a vital route for the Kingdom, being the main highway leading to Aqaba’s port. It also connects Jordan with Saudi Arabia through the Al Mudawwarah border crossing, and is used by Hajj and umra pilgrims.

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