July 25, 2011
In Morocco, a major highway connecting Fes (second only to Casablanca as the nation’s largest city) with the city of Oujda (near the border of Algeria) made its official debut. The Fes-Oujda Expressway – spanning about 190 miles (306 kilometers) — was officially opened by Karim Ghellab, the Moroccan minister of equipment and transport. (Ghellab became minister of equipment and transport in 2002; he stepped down from that position towards the end of 2011 to assume his current duties as president of the House of Representatives of Morocco).
The Fes-Oujda Expressway is an extension of the Rabat-Fes Expressway, which links Morocco’s capital city of Rabat with Fes and was completed in 1999. The entire route between Rabat and Oujda is formally designated as A2 motorway. The Fes-Oujda Expressway became the first part of Morocco’s roads network to have a ticket system for paying tolls set up along the entire section.
Construction on the Fes-Oujda Expressway began in 2007, and it was a key component of a major highway program initiated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco to put more modern infrastructure in place and help strengthen the nation’s economy. Since its opening, the Fes-Oujda Expressway has become an important part of Morocco’s east-west highways corridor. The Expressway has also been promoted as having a similarly pivotal role to play if a proposed trans-African highway system known as l’Autoroute Maghrébine is ever built between Mauritania’s capital city of Nouakchott on the Atlantic coast and the city of Tobruk on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast.
For more information on the Fes-Oujda Expressway, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fes–Oujda_expressway.