Algeria’s East-West Highway project finally drawing to a close

Construction work on Algeria’s East-West Highway project is finally drawing to a close. The highway project has been beset by delays and technical problems that in some instances have required whole sections to be rebuilt.

A Chinese contractor, CITIC-CRCC, will complete the last 84km stretch of the East-West Highway, which runs to the border with Morocco. The East-West Highway itself forms part of the new North African route, running from Dakar to Cairo, Trans-Africa Highway 1. The 8,636km route joins Senegal in the west with Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in the east. Political instability in some of the countries along the route, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in particular, has delayed some of the planned upgrade work. Some stretches still remain unpaved in Western Sahara, which has been an area in dispute.

For the moment Algeria’s land borders with two of its neighbours, Morocco and Libya, remain closed while crossings between Algeria and Tunisia are very restricted due to security concerns. Exactly when the entire Dakar-Cairo road route will be complete and allow drivers to drive between Senegal and Egypt remains unclear.

World Highways

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