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KUWAIT CITY, March 5: The Kuwait Municipality recently approved the request of the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) to develop the Fahaheel Expressway project, and referred it to the Municipal Council. However, the objection of PART’s board of directors to the project in its current form came as a surprise, reports Al-Qabas daily. Informed sources explained that the project is one of the largest projects expected to be implemented by PART in the coming years, but it is currently facing many obstacles that threaten to delay its implementation for several years.
The current board of directors of PART had requested a reconsideration of the project due to its high cost, which amounts to KD 1.35 billion, and did not respond to several inquiries raised by the executive management regarding moving forward with the change order in the design agreement in order to complete the final design. The study for the project, which was completed before the appointment of the current council, includes the implementation of a 36-kilometer-long bridge extending from Kuwait City to South Sabahiya at an estimated cost of one billion and 350 million dinars, with the implementation period extending to 14 years.
President of the council Dr. Hussein Al-Khayyat, who was recently asked to continue at his job until the end of this month, after he had previously announced the acceptance of his resignation, had asked to reconsider the components of the project and the method of its implementation. A different vision was presented to the completed study, which includes the implementation of the project at a cost of KD 680 million with an implementation period of 9 years instead of 14 years, as concluded in the preliminary design submitted by the consultant.
The sources revealed that the project also faces another problem, which is the refusal of the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT) to complete it according to the design and build system, which prompted the authority to address the Fatwa and Legislation Department to find out the fate of the project, adding that the Fatwa and Legislation Department had in turn supported the refusal to implement it according to the current concept. The sources indicated that the authority presented the matter to the Minister of Public Works, who in turn requested that it be presented to the Audit and Inspection Department in the Ministry of Public Works to express its opinion. It was returned again to the board of directors, which in turn did not decide the fate of the project until now, especially in the absence of special financial funds with the huge estimated cost of its implementation.