Beirut Municipality spends $182 million in 60 projects

The Municipality of Beirut worked on 60 projects that have a value of $182 million in 2017, according to its annual progress report.

These projects are expected to create 3,000 jobs.

“The municipality’s priority in 2018 is to launch partnership projects valued over $330 million,” said Jamal Itani, Chairman of the Municipal Board.

Projects were carried out in eight sectors: Solid waste, electricity, transport, infrastructure, urban and environmental planning, green spaces, wastewater, and job creation.

The municipality signed a contract for the collection, transport, and sweeping of solid waste. The contractor is responsible for placing trash cans below and above ground and the encouragement of sorting at source.

In the electricity sector, the municipality assigned international energy consultant Mott McDonald to prepare a study for the generation of 200 megawatts by developing three power generation centers near transmission stations. The private sector will be involved in this project through Power Purchase Agreements.

Not much progress has been made in the transportation sector. A parking below Mgr. Audi Park is currently being developed. But the municipality has an ambitious comprehensive plan to purchase bus fleets, develop new bus stops, and establish new parking lots below parks, in above ground structures, and on city entrances.

The municipality worked on the infrastructure sector by completing the engineering studies for the restoration of 12 underpasses and tunnels, including the Salim Salam tunnel, which is currently under restoration.

A number of contracts were signed for the improvement of street furniture, roads, traffic lights, and removal of violations. According to the report, this project is halfway done.

In urban planning, the municipality is cooperating with the World Bank to improve Beirut’s preparedness for natural disasters. It completed the first phase of the project and the second is underway this year. A consultant was also appointed to help prepare a citywide physical master plan.

An emergency plan was carried out to protect pine trees in Horch Beirut, after they were stricken by a disease. Studies were also conducted for the restoration of several parks including Sioufi, Bechara El Khoury, and Ramlet el Baida.

In wastewater, the municipality has cleared up half of the violations and is working on segregating the rainwater network from that of wastewater.

The municipality signed a contract for the development of a vegetable and fruit market in Sabra, which will provide 500 job opportunities. It is also restoring the wholesale vegetable market near the Sports City Complex.

In addition to these sectors, the municipality spent $2.3 million on supporting touristic festivals and reviving Downtown Beirut. It also created 360 job opportunities at the fire station and security departments.

The municipality is also preparing to launch 41 projects including Waste to Energy, the preservation of Ramlet El Baida beach, and the development of the Hippodrome and Horch Beirut.