Bechtel Helps Kosovo Realize a Dream as Motorway Opens Year Ahead of Schedule

26 November 2013 PRISTINA

Company Completes Motorway Key to Boosting Region’s Economy

Bechtel and its joint-venture partner Enka have finished constructing the Kosovo motorway a year ahead of schedule, a remarkable feat for a project of this scale and complexity. The four-lane motorway includes 15 bridges and runs 48 miles (77.4 kilometers) from Morina at the southwest border with Albania to Trude, north of the capital, Pristina. Collaboration with the Kosovo government and communities was critical to completing the project early. The new motorway will serve as the centerpiece of Kosovo’s national transport system and is expected to significantly benefit the economies of Kosovo and its neighboring countries by expanding trade opportunities.

Kosovar leaders, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, President Atifete Jahjaga, and members of Parliament joined thousands of Kosovars to celebrate the opening.

“This motorway has been a national dream and is now a national reality,” said Thaçi. “Journey times between Tirana and Pristina will be reduced by up to three-quarters, and we will be able to trade more effectively with our neighbors and even further afield. We are grateful to the team that has made this possible and contributed to our future economic and social growth,” the prime minister added.

Bechtel and Enka built the motorway in three and a half years and placed a priority on hiring Kosovars to successfully deliver the project. Over the course of construction, more than 10,000 Kosovars received training that provided them new skills that they can use in future jobs.

“Collaboration with the Kosovo government and the people of Kosovo was essential to the success of this project,” said Peter Dawson, president of Bechtel’s civil infrastructure business. “It has been an enormous privilege to be part of this project, and we are extremely grateful for the support of everyone involved.”  

Bechtel and Enka won two international awards for their work on the Kosovo motorway. They won an ENR magazine Global Best Projects Award as well as the Program Management Award in the International Road Federation’s Global Road Achievement Awards.

The two companies have successfully delivered major infrastructure projects in the region, including motorways in Albania, Croatia, and Turkey. They have completed more than 17,000 miles (more than 28,000 kilometers) of highways and roads, 100 tunnels totaling some 220 miles (about 350 kilometers) in length and 25 major bridge projects.