ArmInfo. Armenia has launched a program for the construction of a section of the Sisisan-Kajaran road in the Syunik region of the republic. On September 24, the Armenian government approved this investment program within the framework of the Investment Program of the North-South Transport Corridor: Tranche-4 and the specifics of organizing the prequalification procedure.
According to Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia Vache Terteryan, the approval of the project will allow starting the solution of some procedural issues and thus complete the tenders and the procurement process by the end of 2022. This, in turn, will make it possible to launch the program itself, the deputy minister said.
According to him, the priority of the program for the RA authorities is obvious - the road providing access to the Iranian border is of strategic importance. The road will be built in accordance with modern quality standards, it will reliably, safely and quickly connect the southern regions of Armenia with the central ones.
So, as the deputy minister said, the length of the road section will be about 60 km with a permitted speed of about 100 km / h. Bridges with a total length of 4.7 km and tunnels with a total length of 12.5 km will be built. One of them, as Terteryan pointed out, the 8.6 km long Bargushat tunnel, will become a unique construction not only by Armenian standards.
The cost of the program for the construction part alone will amount to 474.3 billion drams (slightly less than $ 1 billion), including VAT, and the total cost will be 487 billion drams.
The program has already passed the expertise and environmental impact assessment (EIA), a positive conclusion has been received. The project submitted to the government's court, as the deputy minister explained, regulates the specifics of the procurement process for construction and engineering works, the alienation of land for the program. "And, since the implementation of the program envisages active cooperation with the international partners of the Republic of Armenia, synchronization, harmonization of the national legislation of Armenia with the legal regulations of partners will be required, and these features, among other things, relate to these tasks," he explained.
Earlier, in July 2021, acting Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Suren Papikyan stated that the European Union intends to allocate 600 million euros to Armenia for the construction of the Sisian-Kajaran section of the North-South highway. This amount, according to him, will allow to announce a tender for the construction of this section in August. At the same time, Papikyan noted that even without EU funding, the Armenian government was ready to announce a tender for the construction of the site, since the design and estimate documentation is already fully prepared. In the absence of other sources of funding, as noted by the acting Minister, the government would use its own funds for the tender. "But now it is very good that additional resources have appeared, now we will understand how to organize everything," he said. The official also recalled the interest of the Iranian side in the construction work of the southern section along the line of building bridges and tunnels. In this regard, he noted that elections were completed in the Islamic Republic of Iran yesterday and a new government is being formed, after which negotiations on this topic will continue. In total, according to Papikyan, only $ 1.2 billion will be required for the construction of tunnels in the southern section to Kajaran, and another $ 250 million - to the town of Agarak.
To note, 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 will provide access to the Black Sea and European countries through the territory of Armenia (Meghri-Kapan-Goris-Yerevan-Ashtarak-Gyumri-Bavra) and Georgia. The corridor was originally planned to be completed in 2019. The cost of the program was constantly revised upward. Meanwhile, in September 2012, when the construction of the highway began, the amount that was called by representatives of the Armenian government was several times less - $ 962 million