PRISTINA, Kosovo, May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel and joint-venture partner ENKA have completed the construction of Kosovo Motorway Route 6, a 40-mile (or 65 kilometers) four-lane highway that stretches from the country's capital, Pristina, to North Macedonia. The new route, which is now open to traffic and reduces travel time in half to 45 minutes, forms a key part of Kosovo's national roads network intended to boost trade and connectivity with its neighbors and Western Europe.
Route 6 adds to Route 7, which also was built by a Bechtel-ENKA team and runs from Morina on the Albanian border to the north of Pristina. Together, the two motorways will connect to Corridor X, a major pan-European transport passage that runs between Salzburg in Austria and Thessaloniki in Greece, and passes through Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. This new interconnectivity is aimed at unleashing trade opportunities across these countries.
The end of construction was marked today with a ceremony on the new motorway attended by the president, prime minister and infrastructure minister of Kosovo, the prime ministers of Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia, and the U.S. ambassador to Kosovo.
"Kosovo Motorway Route 6 is an infrastructure masterpiece of great importance for our region," said Kosovo Minister of Infrastructure, Pal Lekaj. "We are thankful to Bechtel and ENKA for maintaining the highest standards."
Mike Wilkinson, Bechtel's regional general manager, said: "We are incredibly proud to have successfully completed a second key motorway in Kosovo with our partners ENKA. At a time when many other countries are not rising to the infrastructure challenge, the Kosovan government must be credited for their political leadership and their investment in high-quality infrastructure that will provide significant economic benefits to the country and improve the lives of all Kosovans. We will continue to build more world-class transport infrastructure in the region – including, we hope, right here in Kosovo – and we will continue to do so safely and sustainably, while supporting local communities and investing in local business."
At peak, the Route 6 project was the largest employer in Kosovo, and 80 percent of the 3,350-person workforce was Kosovan. Seventy percent of sub-contracted work was awarded to local contractors. Local employees received almost 100,000 hours of training that provided them with new skills to use on future projects.
The Bechtel-ENKA team has successfully delivered a number of major infrastructure projects in the region, including motorways in Albania, Croatia, Turkey, and Romania. They have completed more than 28,150 kilometers of highways and roads, 100 tunnels totaling 355 kilometers in length, and 26 major bridges.
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