Bumps in the Road: Flying Gravel Woes and Legal Battles Plague Kuwait’s Infrastructure

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 27: Recent statistics issued by the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport revealed that the authority had signed 48 contracts over 10 years, from 2013 to 2022, with a total value of 2.091 billion dinars, and that during the same period, it signed 118 maintenance contracts worth 281 million dinars.

The statistics, a copy of which was obtained by Al-Rai, showed that 70 percent of the total highways are not under maintenance contracts, compared to 30 percent that are still under contract. It showed that the problem of flying gravel appeared in 2005, followed by the formation of 8 technical committees to study all asphalt problems. The problems were limited to 8 basic topics, with 42 recommendations issued to address the problem.

The sources added that in 2018, the technical committee that was formed at that time (the Independent Legal Technical Committee) issued a recommendation to cancel the law establishing the authority for three reasons — the overlap of powers and specializations with the Ministry of Works, the difference of visions among its senior leadership, and the provision of budgets that will be spent on developing each from the Ministry of Works and PART.

48 new contracts were signed as follows — 2013: 1 contract signed, 2014: 7 contracts signed, 2015: 3 contracts signed, 2016: 9 contracts signed, 2017: 11 contracts signed, 2018: 2 contracts signed, 2019: 3 contracts signed, 2020: 7 contracts signed, 2021: 3 contracts signed 2022: 2 contracts signed

The 118 maintenance contracts that were signed — 2013: 23 contracts signed, 2014: 13 contracts signed, 2015: 9 contracts signed, 2016: 25 contracts signed, 2017: 14 contracts signed, 2018: 9 contracts signed, 2019: 4 contracts signed, 2020: 6 contracts signed, 2021: 9 contracts signed, 2022: Signing of 6 contracts for committees to investigate the deterioration of roads, 2005 — The emergence of the problem of flying gravel; 2011: Formation of a committee to study the phenomenon of flying gravel; 2013: Formation of a technical committee to study the causes of steel flying from the asphalt surfaces of some roads and ways to avoid it; 2014: Formation of a technical committee regarding the study of the phenomenon of flying gravel, determine its causes and proposed solutions to address it and avoid its recurrence; 2015: Formation of a committee to follow up on the recommendations of the previous committee formed by the Ministry of Works. 2018: Formation of 3 committees, the first of which was formed in June (a technical committee to inspect newly implemented or maintained highways), and the second was formed in December (Independent Legal Technical Committee to investigate the phenomenon of flying gravel and other asphalt defects on roads and streets).

Also, in December, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research presented a study of the deterioration of asphalt roads and the adequacy of the measures taken by the Ministry. In June 2020, a technical committee was formed to evaluate and review the procedures followed. In the maintenance and treatment of highways and internal roads. In November of the same year, a memorandum of understanding was signed regarding cooperation in the areas of improving the work of implementing, constructing and maintaining roads between the Government of Kuwait and the State of Qatar.

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