ADB grants $278m loan to improve East-West Highway in Georgia

WCN Editorial Team 27 Nov 2019 ASIA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted $278m loan to build and improve part of East–West Highway in Georgia.

The improvement project involves construction and rehabilitation of 30km of main and secondary roads on the Shorapani–Argveta section of the highway.

The 410km East-West highway is a part of Corridor 2 connecting member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC).

Currently, it represents 30% of Georgia’s international road network. Accessed by more than 13,000 vehicles a day, the highway carries over 60% of the country’s foreign trade.

The loan will be used to construct 14.7km access-controlled, dual two-lane carriageway between Shorapani and Argveta.

ADB Central and West Asia senior transport specialist Valerie Lisack said: “A reliable road network is essential to make sure that Georgia benefits economically from its unique location at the crossroads of transit routes linking Europe and Asia.

“This project supports the government’s ongoing commitment to improve its infrastructure, particularly roads and highways, to fast track the country’s development.”

About 15km of secondary roads connected to the highway network will also be rehabilitated, along with the construction of a rest stop with accessibility for elderly people, children, and people with disabilities.

Estimated to be completed by the end of 2025, the project also includes building of roadside stalls and half of which will be leased to women-run businesses.

In addition, the project will see a road safety awareness campaign being conducted for roadside villages and schools in order to increase road safety.

Furthermore, a total of 38 portable scales and one weigh-in-motion site will be incorporated to reduce damage caused by overloaded or overweight trucks.

So far, Georgia has been granted $2.8bn in sovereign and non-sovereign loans.

Last year, a loan of $300m was approved by ADB to support a four-lane, 12km road construction on the East–West highway between Khevi and Ubisa.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Image: ADB grants $278m loan for construction and rehabilitation of East-West Highway in Georgia. Photo: courtesy of Free-Photos from Pixabay.

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