Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Wednesday officially launched in Hammadi, in the province of Boumerdes, the East-West motorway works, a "huge project" budgeted at AD800 billion (some US$13 billion) and which length is estimated at more than 1,200km. The motorway will be completed within 40 months.
According to APS, Bouteflika laid the first stone of this project in an atmosphere of popular feast, created by the inhabitants of Hammadi, a southern Algiers small area and folk dance troupes, accompanied by shots of "baroud" by traditionally-dressed horsemen.
The highway will ensure the connection between the Tunisian border to the east and the Moroccan border to the west, and will link the cities of Annaba, Constantine, Setif, Algiers, Oran and Tlemcen. It will cross 24 of Algeria’s 48 wilayas (or provinces). This project is part of a huge economic and social recovery program over the period 2005-2009, of which it is one of the major components in terms of required resources and potential economic value. The project is entirely financed by the Algerian Government.
Japanese consortium Cojaal and Chinese Citic/CRCC will carry out the construction of the three sections of the east-west motorway in Algeria. The first 400km-section will be built by Cojaal. The centre and west section will be built by CRCC.