The government of North Macedonia has picked a joint venture between US engineer Bechtel and Turkish contractor Enka to build two motorways with a total length of 110km.
The first, known as corridor 8, is an east–west route connecting the Adriatic and Black seas between Albania and Bulgaria. The second, known as corridor 10d, is part of the EU’s Pan-European Transport Corridor 10, connecting Austria and Greece.
According to Enka, the project will involve seven interchanges, 34 bridges, 34 overpasses, 24 underpasses and more than 21 million cubic metres of excavation.
Speaking at Wednesday’s signed ceremony, Dimitar Kovacevski, the prime minister of North Macedonia, said the two routes were of “incredible importance” for the Balkan state’s infrastructure and economy. He added: “These two corridors will create a vital link for our regional transport system and make the country more visible for foreign investment.”
Artan Grubi, the first deputy prime minister, added that they would be the largest infrastructure project in the country’s history.
“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,” he said.
According to Bechtel, the deal will place a high priority on using North Macedonian labour and suppliers. It said there would also be training programmes to support the long-term supply of construction workers.
The two companies have previously worked on motorways in Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey and Romania. Together, they have built more than 28,000km of highways, along with 100 tunnels and 26 large bridges.
Work on the North Macedonian roads will be complete by the end of 2028.