The expansion of Jounieh Highway will start before the end of the year, according to Ramzi Salman, CEO of Société D’Entreprises Abdul Rahman Hourie, the company which won the tender along with Consolidated Engineering and Trading (CET). The highway will be expanded to new width of 50 meters. It will include three lanes plus one safety lane in each direction. It will cover 10.5 km of the highway from Nahr El Kalb to Tabarja. The cost of the project is EUR48 million ($53.5 million) financed by a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The project will take place over a period of 30 months. The first six months will be for removing the buildings which obstruct the expansion. Around 40 buildings will be subject to partial or total destruction, according to Salman. “We will be responsible for the removing the buildings which require total destruction,” he said. Owners will be in charge of the buildings which require partial demolition. The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) completed the purchase of all the properties impeding the expansion of the highway last year, at a cost of $34 million. The entrances and exits of the roads joining with the highway will be enlarged as well. The project also includes the option to add a 10-meter wide elevated highway for public transport. A daily average of 120,000 vehicle passes along the Jounieh highway. Alternate routes will be secured to facilitate the movement of traffic during the construction period.