Morocco is set to enlarge several controlled-access highways across the country in 2021, Minister of Equipment Abdelkader Amara announced.
The Ministry of Equipment, in collaboration with Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), the company managing Moroccan highways, will work on adding lanes to some of the country’s busiest highways, making them six-lane roads—three lanes in each direction.
Amara announced the projects on Monday during a session about the transport sector at the House of Representatives.
One of the largest infrastructure projects is the enlargement of the Guercif-Nador controlled-access highway in northeastern Morocco. The road is 105 kilometers long and its expansion will require an investment of MAD 5.7 billion ($633.16 million).
The projects also include the enlargement of the 29-kilometer Tit Mellil-Berrechid highway for MAD 1.8 billion ($199.94 million) and the 27-kilometer Casablanca-Berrechid motorway for MAD 1.0 billion ($111.08 million).
The Casablanca bypass highway will also witness a similar expansion in 2021. The bypass is 31 kilometers long and its expansion will cost MAD 900 million ($99.97 million).
Morocco’s controlled-access highway network has witnessed a “considerable expansion” in recent years, Amara said. According to the minister, the network is now 1,800 kilometers long, up from 1,437 kilometers at the end of 2011.
The network’s main axis currently goes from Tangier in the north to Agadir in central Morocco. The Tangier-Agadir highway passes through Kenitra, Rabat, Casablanca, Settat, and Marrakech.
The country’s second-longest highway goes from Rabat to Oujda in the northeast. It passes through Meknes, Fez, and Taza.
Finally, the network has one branch that goes along Morocco’s Atlantic coast, linking Casablanca to Safi and passing through El Jadida. A second branch links Casablanca to Beni Mellal in the Middle Atlas, passing through Khouribga and Oued Zem.
While the controlled-access highway network mainly covers central and northern Morocco, the country’s southern provinces are also witnessing some major infrastructure projects.
The largest project is currently the Tiznit-Laayoune toll-free expressway. The 550-kilometer road will link Tiznit, approximately 100 kilometers south of Agadir, to Laayoune in the south.
Morocco currently has a 1,334-kilometer-long network of toll-free expressways, in addition to 739 kilometers under construction. While they are usually not as large as controlled-access highways, expressways are also known for being smooth and safe for drivers.