TENDERS have been received by the Highways Department for two major contracts, worth an estimated $1.5 billion each, for construction of the West Kowloon Expressway. On May 14, six tenders were received for the northern section contract. The assessment is now in progress and a decision is expected in July. The tendering groups are: SOGEA/ Campenon Bernard SGE/ Franki Contractors Ltd - (joint venture); Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd/ China State Construction Engineering Corporation/ Hochtief Aktiengesellschaft - (joint venture); Dragages et Travaux Publics/ Bachy Soletanche Group - (joint venture); Gammon Construction Ltd./ Samsung Engineering & Construction Co Ltd - (joint venture); Kumagai Gumi (HK) Ltd/ Maeda Corporation/ China Road and Bridge Corporation - (joint venture); Shui On Civil Contractors Ltd/ Balfour Beatty Ltd/ China Fujian Corporation for International Techno Economic Corporation/ Hsin Chong Construction Co Ltd/ Philipp Holzmann Aktiengesellschaft - (joint venture). The northern section contract requires construction of an elevated dual three-lane expressway running from Cherry Street north to link with the Kwai Chung viaduct section of Route 3 at Mei Foo. ''The structure is similar to that of the Kwun Tong Bypass,'' said Sterling Brisbin, of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO). The northern contract also includes a major interchange, the Lai Wan, which makes connections to the existing road network in West Kowloon, and links to future roadways, including Route 16, and the CRA-4 container port road. On the southern section, eight tenders were received on June 11. They are: SOGEA/ Campenon Bernard SGE - (joint venture); Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd/ China State Construction Engineering Corporation/ Hochtief Aktiengesellschaft - (Joint venture); Dragages et Travaux Publics/ Bachy Soletanche Group - (joint venture); Gammon Construction Ltd; Kumagai Gumi (HK) Ltd/ Maeda Corporation/ China Road and Bridge Corporation - (joint venture); Franki Contractors Ltd; AOKI Corporation; Nishimatsu Construction Co Ltd. An award, following closely behind the North section decision, is expected in August. A major interchange at Yau Ma Tei is included in the southern contract, connecting the existing road links in West Kowloon at Yau Ma Tei, as well as roads that will be built on the West Kowloon reclamation. The southern contract also provides links to future roads, including the future Central Kowloon route. The two expressway contracts include not only the elevated expressway, and sections of a primary distributor road for the West Kowloon reclamation. The airport railway runs beneath and along the West Kowloon Expressway in the northern section, and the contract includes advance works for the Airport Railway formation, including track drainage and sub-ballast. In the southern expressway contract, the Airport Railway alignment diverges alongside the expressway alignment, running into the Tai Kok Tsui station of the airport railway. That station straddles the Cherry Street extension on to the reclamation. and will be constructed as an underpass directly beneath the Tai Kok Tsui station.