A consortium headed by Ferrovial has been named as preferred bidder for a Slovak highway project that includes a major cable-stayed bridge over the River Danube.

The scheme, which will create a ring road around Bratislava (D4) and a new radial road (R7), represents a total investment of US$1.09 billion.

Ferrovial was chosen by the Slovakia Ministry of Transport for the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new roads. Other consortium members include Australian group Macquarie and Austrian construction company Porr.

Ferrovial subsidiary Cintra will develop the project, while design and construction will be carried out by a joint venture headed by Ferrovial Agroman with Porr. Operation and maintenance will be handled by the concession company.

A four-pylon cable-stayed structure has been chosen as the preferred solution for the River Danube bridge.

The other options that were considered were cable-stayed bridges with two or three pylons, an extradosed bridge and a balanced cantilever structure.

The new 27km D4 highway will have two lanes in each direction, creating a beltway to the east of the city and a connection with existing radial roads. The new 32km R7 radial highway will have two to three lanes each way, running in a south-easterly direction from the city centre. 

The concession, which will be based on availability payments, will run for 34 years. Construction is expected to take four years and financial closure is expected in the second quarter of this year.