Algerian Minister of Public Works and Transport Abdul Ghani Zaalan announced Thursday that the construction of the 52-mile East-West highway would be completed in early 2019.
The project was started by the Al-Dharaan municipality and was re-affirmed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after being suspended since 2012. The work was then assigned to a Chinese group.
The final segment of the highway will facilitate the creation of 6,000 jobs – both direct and indirect. Zaalan estimated that the workshop required a public investment of 84 billion dirhams as it extends from the Al-Dharaan to the Algerian-Tunisian border, crossing eight municipalities, including the Lake of Birds, Bassbas and Ain Al-Asal.
However, he wanted to preserve the “green character” of the Tarif area by protecting the lakes and surrounding areas along the highway. He hopes to make Al-Tarf a "transit zone with distinction."