Muscat – The Ministry of Finance (MoF), in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, is inviting private sector companies to bid for a qualification tender to build the sultanate’s first toll road – Salalah-Thumrait Truck Road (STTR).
The 67km project, to be developed in public-private partnership (PPP), will be the first of its kind in Oman specifically for heavy vehicles.
A statement issued by MoF said, ‘As part of efforts to involve the private sector in partnership projects and with the aim of investing in infrastructure projects and public services, the ministry invites companies wishing to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the Salalah-Thumrait Truck Road.’
The deadline for submission of bids is May 4.
The decision elicited positive reactions from citizens and experts. “This is an excellent step to stimulate commercial activities and increase investments,” Nasser al Hosani, Director of Happy Line Transportation, told Muscat Daily.
“The road will revitalise Salalah Port and neighbouring wilayats and help stimulate export and import traffic. The road will be equipped with scales to monitor the load on trucks, preventing these from transporting any extra load that can damage the road,” Hosani added.
Sultan al Rawahi, a truck driver, said the new road will reduce congestion and accidents. “The road will attract foreign investments and stimulate tourism as well.”
He added, “The road will also increase national income and help the government’s plan to construct more roads.”
MoF highlighted an additional expressway alongside the existing Salalah-Thumrait road as one of the key projects for implementation in the 2020 Budget statement. ‘Trucks will be obliged to pay a service fee to use the expressway.’
In 2022, H E Said bin Hamoud al Ma’awali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, clarified that the toll road system will not be implemented on existing roads used by regular motorists.
To a query by Majlis A’Shura, H E Ma’awali said, “Alternative roads for trucks will not cause any financial burden on citizens. The focus will be on trucks only.”