Four road and bridge projects in Ninawa and Anbar provinces have been completed, the Iraqi Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing announced Tuesday (November 22nd).
Sameer Bashqa, director of the general commission for roads and bridges, said the projects included the construction of the Saqlawiya Bridge on the main highway between Ramadi and Fallujah, the maintenance of the old bridge in Saqlawiya, the repair of the Palestine Bridge on the Euphrates River, and the construction of the Tal Afar-Tal Apta highway in Ninawa.
The total cost of these projects is estimated at 18.7 billion dinars ($15.5 million).
''The completion of these projects will help boost services provided to citizens by facilitating traffic movement between the provinces, easing traffic jams and keeping pace with the population expansion in the country," Bashqa said.
Zaid Hassan Ali, spokesman for the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing, told Mawtani the ministry plans to start work on eight service projects in several provinces in the near future.
"One of these projects includes maintenance work on the 66-kilometre Amara-Teeb highway in Maysan province at a cost of about 7 billion dinars and the construction of the 20-kilometer Revival of the Marshes Highway in Basra at a cost of 3 billion dinars.''
The projects also include the rehabilitation of 16 kilometres of the Kirkuk-Mosul highway at a cost of over 1 billion dinars, repair of 11 kilometres of the Muelha road in Babel province at a cost of 2 billion dinars, and the repair of other roads in Najaf and Ninawa provinces.
''About 110 projects on roads and bridges were completed or rehabilitated this year,'' Ali said.
Vian Dakheel, chairwoman of the Iraqi parliament's committee on reconstruction and services, praised the ministry's efforts in completing infrastructure projects.
''The ministry is working aggressively to provide the best services for Iraqis. This has become clear through regular monitoring by our committee of this institution's activities and its performance in completing service and building projects that fall within its authority," Dakheel told Mawtani.
Dakheel said the committee is planning to increase allocations for the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing in next year's budget. The funds are needed for the execution of development that would improve major and secondary roads network, and the construction of new bridges.
The Iraqi government announced last September that it began preparing the 2012 state budget, which parliament is scheduled to approve before the end of 2011.
The total budget is expected to be around $112 billion of which $1.2 billion is allocated for projects in the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing.