ArmInfo. The "North-South" road must be built, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on November 13 at the National Assembly of Armenia.
According to him, the road should be built according to the highest quality standards. Nikol Pashinyan stressed that groundwater is underway, but there were problems associated with asphalt pavement, due to the low quality of cement and concrete. As a result,as the acting PM noted the part of the road that has already been built, does not correspond to the quality indicators. Research is currently underway, and a further decision will be made.
To recall earlier, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called for more attention to be paid to the quality of road construction. According to him, the solution of this issue is directly connected with the development of tourism, including the influx of Iranian tourists to Armenia. "It is necessary to solve all the problems arising in this area as quickly and efficiently as possible," the Prime Minister noted.
To note, the Chinese company Sinohidro Corporation, which carries out construction work on the Talin- Lanzhik road section, under its responsibility, without testing the quality of the work performed, carried out the concreting of a 1200-meter-long canvas, while 300 meters were to be concreted for testing. In this regard, at the request of the RA Ministry of Transport, the work was suspended until the results of the laboratory examination were obtained. If the results of the examination do not meet the established standards, the Chinese company must dismantle the road and begin to pour concrete again. Violations are also recorded during the excavation work. To recall, the agreement with the company was concluded on December 9, 2015. The length of the road section should be 27.5 km. The works must be carried out for 74 million euros, which were provided in the form of a loan by the European Investment Bank with co-financing from the RA government, as well as a grant from the European Union. It was envisaged that this section of the road, construction of which began in 2016, should be put into operation within three years, but the problems that have arisen threaten the success of the project. Earlier, even the director of the Armenian representative office of the Asian Development Bank, Shane Rosenthal, stated that the cost of building 1 km of the North-South road on the Ashtarak-Ladzhik section would cost $ 3.5 million instead of $ 1.2 million. Rosenthal also doubted that this project will be completed.
In 2018, $ 47 million was allocated to continue the construction of the North-South transport corridor. The funds were raised in the form of credit resources from the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Eurasian Development Bank, and another 2.8 billion drams are to be received in the form of a grant from the European investment bank.
Meanwhile, in late September last year, the then Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Vahan Martirosyan reported that, according to current calculations, the construction of the entire 556-kilometer North-South highway, which stretches from Bavra to Meghri, will cost more than $ 2 billion, since only its southern section, between the cities of Artashat and Meghri, the preliminary estimate will cost $ 1.5 billion. Meanwhile, five years ago, in September 2012, when the construction of the motorway began, the amount that representatives of the Armenian government called was more than half as less - $ 962 million. Today, $ 150.3 million has been spent and 23.14 million euros.
Under the "North-South" program, the Armenian government estimated a preliminary saving of $ 2.5 per hour for each passenger and $ 1 per hour for transporting a ton of cargo. As the authorities of Armenia expect, the program will allow the country in the future to mitigate the effects of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey, to play the role of a transit state in the freight traffic of the countries of the region, and also to join the Black Sea Ring Road.