Construction work on incomplete sections of the Batinah Coastal Road project — a landmark initiative that promises to open up vast swathes of the Batinah coast to economic, commercial and tourism development — is set to recommence in earnest.
It follows the award of a contract by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to well-known Pakistani engineering consultancy services firm NESPAK for the preparation of tender documents for the unfinished sections punctuating the 120-kilometre length of the dual carriageway.
First unveiled in the early 2000s, the ambitious Batinah Coastal Road project was initially spearheaded by the Supreme Council for Planning as an economic lifeline to underdeveloped but potentially promising parts of the North and South Al Batinah coastline.
Work on the 120km-long dual carriageway was undertaken in two sections of 60 kilometres each: Section 1 extending from Barka to Wudam Al Sahil, and Section 2: spanning the remaining distance from Sohar Port to Khatmat Malaha.
Due to delays, primarily relating to the acquisition of land for the project, construction work was undertaken in multiple stages. Portions of the carriageway, aggregating several tens of kilometres along both sections, still remain to be completed.
Now that the acquisition of land along the alignment has been essentially completed, work on the remainder of the Batinah Coastal Road project can resume in earnest, say officials.
To this end, the Ministry of Transport and Communications recently retained NESPAK, which had undertaken the design and construction supervision from the inception of the project, to provide additional consultancy support covering the incomplete segments.
As part of its new remit, NESPAK will redesign the remaining stretches to the latest Oman Roads and Highway Specs (2017 Standards), an official said. Several bridges, roundabouts, culverts and other road features will also be designed as part of the latest package of works.
When implemented over the next couple of years, the Batinah Coastal Road will offer a scenic alternative to the generally busy Batinah Highway for travel between Muscat and Khatmat Malalah.
It will enhance connectivity with important economic projects under development along the Batinah waterfront, including fishery harbours, power and water desalination plants, and marinas. Punctuated with sandy shores, the coastal stretch also becomes attractive for real estate and tourism investment, according to experts.
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played