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‘Ministry plans minor renovations of desert road ahead of major project’

By Laila Azzeh - Apr 18,2016 - Last updated at Apr 18,2016

AMMAN — The Public Works and Housing Ministry will hire a contractor to pave the desert highway cracks ahead of the implementation of the key road’s major rehabilitation project, an informed source said Monday.

The ministry has prepared a plan to float tenders for revamping the desert road, which will be financed by the Saudi Fund for Development at a cost of $170 million, divided into a $65 million grant signed last November and a $105 million soft loan, according to the ministry’s secretary general, Anmar Khasawneh.

“The whole project, which extends through 220km, running from the Queen Alia International Airport to Naqab area, will take a year-and-a half,” he told The Jordan Times.

Work will be carried out over six stages, each covering around 30 to 35km of the road.

In the meantime and in order to reduce accidents witnessed on the highway, the ministry will carry out minor renovations to address cracks and place warning signs along the road, said Khasawneh.

Extending from Amman to Aqaba through Karak, Tafileh and Maan, the road has witnessed deadly car accidents over the past years, prompting a group of lawyers to decide to sue Public Works and Housing Minister Sami Halaseh over the condition of the highway, the main route connecting the capital to the southern region.

“The desert road claims tens of lives a year and there is an obvious negligence on the part of the Public Works Ministry,” Lawyer Ibrahim Majali, who is arranging the lawsuit, charged in a phone interview with The Jordan Times on Sunday.

 

The lawsuit, he said, targets Halaseh in his capacity as minister.

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