Tuesday, March 23 2021 17:19

The first public hearings of the construction project of the  North-South highway southern section were held

The first public hearings of the construction project of the  North-South highway southern section were held

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.

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