Iraq opens bidding on $17bn road and rail link with Turkey

The Shatt Al Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran (Dreamstime)
Bidding has opened for a 1,200km motorway and rail link that will connect southern Iraq with Turkey, the World Highways website reports.

Iraq approved the “Development Road”, as the project is called, in March. It will begin at Iraq’s Al Faw Grand Port, a $2.6bn scheme now being built by South Korea’s Daewoo E&C. From there, it will run to the Turkish border in northwest Iraq.

Razzak Al-Saadawi, the transport minister, said at the time that it would give Iraq “access to the Turkish Port of Mersin and then Istanbul and Europe”.

Iraqi officials said in early 2023 that the rail element of the scheme would be carried out by French engineer Alstom, which is also expected to build an elevated metro in Baghdad.

Construction of the road and rail connection are together expected to cost as much as $17bn, and so far funding has not been finalised.

Design work on the road is expected to begin shortly; geological studies are already under way. Earlier this month, Iraq created a government agency to oversee the execution of the project.

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