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US-based engineering company Bechtel and its joint venture (JV) partner Enka have been chosen by the Government of North Macedonia to construct two new motorways.

Corridor 8 motorway is an east-west route linking the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea and runs via North Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria.

The other motorway is Corridor 10d, an important part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor 10 linking Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Greece.

Both these new motorways will stretch to 110km in total.

Construction of the two motorways is set to begin this year.

North Macedonia Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski said: “The construction of these motorways is of incredible importance for the improvement and modernisation of our infrastructure.

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“These two corridors will create a vital link for our regional transportation system and make the country more visible for foreign investment.”

Bechtel Heavy Civil Infrastructure business general manager Mark Allison said: “We are delighted to work with the North Macedonian Government on this exciting new transport project that will improve connectivity in the region and expand the local economy.

“Bechtel-Enka has a long history of successfully delivering complex motorway projects in the region, and we take our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards very seriously.”

The contract will prioritise hiring local people and leverage local suppliers to undertake the construction of the motorways.

First Deputy Prime Minister Artan Grubi agreed: “This is the largest infrastructure project in our country, and we are extremely grateful that, two years after signing the memorandum with Bechtel and Enka, we have completed all the necessary procedures and negotiations to sign the contract and begin the construction work in the upcoming weeks.”

The Bechtel-Enka partnership has earlier worked on Kosovo’s Route 7 motorway and has delivered huge infrastructure projects in the region since the 1990s, including motorways in Albania, Croatia, Turkey, and Romania.

Both have together constructed over 28,000km of highways and roads, 100 tunnels, and 26 major bridges.