ArmInfo. The first round of public hearings dedicated to the reconstruction of the Kajaran-Agarak section within the framework of Tranche-4 of the construction of the North-South regional road corridor were held in the cities of Kajaran and Meghri, Syunik region of Armenia.
Representatives of the project contractor, SNCO "Road Administration" and representatives of the Italian design companies <IRD Engineering> and <GP Engineering> presented in detail at the meetings with residents of Kajaran and Meghri community a preliminary project for the construction of the section, taking into account environmental risks and social impact.
In particular, it was noted that the construction of the Kajaran-Agarak Tranche-4 section is financed by the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) of the Eurasian Development Bank of the Republic of Armenia. The road section will have a total length of about 45 km, the construction of the first section (about 32 km) is planned to begin in 2022.
The planned route will cross the existing road in some sections, while on others the road will be constructed according to a completely new design. In connection with the reconstruction of the road, traffic will be reduced through some villages between Qajaran and Meghri, in connection with which it is planned to build appropriate bypass roads.
According to the project, bridges, traffic interchanges and tunnels will be built with all accompanying safety measures: fire protection, ventilation system, earthquake resistance.
During the implementation of the project, the Italian organization carried out geotechnical studies in several stages, in cooperation with local experts.
The new road will shorten both the distance (by about 14 km) and travel time. At a speed of 80 km / h, about 40 minutes will be saved. The organizers of public discussions answered the questions of the residents of villages and townships, mainly about the mechanisms of land acquisition and compensation. It was emphasized that the project under discussion is preliminary, it will be amended taking into account the proposals received from local communities. Recall that on April 14, 2015, the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and the Armenian government signed an agreement on an investment loan from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development in the amount of $ 150 million to finance the construction of the southern section of the North-South road corridor (Tranche-4). The initial timing of the project was delayed and changes were made to the agreement, both in terms of the timing of the project and in terms of loan repayment.
Note that the North-South project will reduce the distance from the Iranian border to the Georgian border from 556 to 490 kilometers. The road will significantly facilitate access to the Black Sea not only for Armenia, but also for Iran. The project is initially funded with a loan from the Asian Development Bank. A corresponding agreement with ADB on the provision of half a billion dollars was signed by the Armenian government in September 2009. Subsequently, the EFSD joined the project, agreeing to provide $ 150 million. It was envisaged that the construction of the highway would be completed first in 2016, then in 2019, but to date, only a part of the work has been completed and the terms of the project have been postponed again by 5-10 years. In general, according to various estimates, the project is estimated at $ 2 billion, although initially it was planned to allocate only $ 980 million for its implementation. As expected by the Armenian authorities, the program will allow the country in the future to mitigate the consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey, play the role of a transit state in the cargo transportation of the countries of the region, and also join the Black Sea Ring Highway.