• SCOPE OF WORK

    Procurement and construction

  • VALUE

    $535 million

  • SCHEDULE

    2006–2010

  • BUSINESS

    Infrastructure

Modern motorway puts Albania in the fast lane

Bechtel and joint-venture partner Enka completed construction of a $535 million motorway in Albania. The 37-mile (61-kilometer), four-lane highway stretches from the town of ‪Rrëshen, in the heart of the country, to the northeastern village of Kalimash. It is the central leg of a 106-mile (171-kilometer) highway traversing the country from the Adriatic Sea to the northeastern border with Kosovo. The highway cut travel time from six hours to two, boosting coastal trade and northeast tourism.

  • Jumbo drill advancing the project's 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometer) tunnel
  • Members of the project team
  • During construction, the project was the largest employer in the area
  • A project bridge crossing the mountains
  • A view of the completed project
  • The tallest of the project's 29 bridges
  • Motorway stretch cut into mountain
  • Motorway's completed section 1

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Protecting the environment

Instead of relying on diesel generators, for instance, the camps at Reps, ‪Thirrë, and Kukës were hooked up to the country’s national hydro powered electricity grid. We dramatically cut fuel consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions dropped by more than 613,000 pounds (278,000 kilograms) per month.

Inside the project

The scenic motorway, one of Albania’s largest infrastructure projects, includes a 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometer) twin-bore tunnel and 29 bridges built in a mountainous, rocky region. It provides a vital connection within Albania and across the region, linking markets to the Adriatic port of Durrës and contributing to economic growth as the nation prepares for accession to the European Union, which is pending. 

Local impact

The Bechtel-Enka joint venture was supported by Albanian expertise, labor, materials, and services. During construction, the project was the largest employer in the area, with Albanians accounting for two-thirds of the workforce. In addition, connecting this project’s worker camps to Albania’s national electrical grid required partial reconstruction of, and upgrades to, the local grid. That made Bechtel-Enka the largest customer of the local utility, further supporting the local economy.